The first group of Junior Scientists@ Iracambi kicked off the semester this week in fine style. This was the first time that we have had students from the Rosário da LImeira high school, and we are delighted to report that they are bright, motivated and dead keen to learn about their forest environment.
They started by doing a quick tour of the facilities at the Iracambi Research Center and then they were off into the forest to take a closer look at the animals and plants and be introduced to some keystone species whose presence shows that the forest is in good health. They learned about the equipment they will be using to test the soils and water quality and record the weather, as well as looking at simple and effective ways of collecting and recording data. After that they paid a visit to the forest nursery to learn about which species of trees are native and which exotic, and how to care for the native species seedlings that they will continue to plant in the forest reserve.
We also discussed the fact that this is a specially important year for us to be studying water since 2013 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Water Cooperation. Brazil is one of the most water rich nations in the world, and Iracambi is situated in the Atlantic forest region which supplies water to many of Brazil’s major cities. It is therefore vital that young Brazilians learn about proper management of forest and water resources, and Iracambi’s Junior Scientists are keen to do their part!
The Iracambi GIS project is underway - but we've hit a few potholes along the road, and have decided to put the project on the back burner for now.
Here's why. To run the project effectively we need to update and replace our software. We’re aiming to get ArcGIS and IDRISI Selva, but due to cost issues, it's just not possible at the moment. We’ve been in contact with Clark Labs, the producers of IDRISI, but our next few projects may have to rely on Arc instead. This is not a major problem and we’re sure we can utilize the programs we already have!
In the meantime our data gathering is going well. We’re very appreciative of the wide variety of imagery available through USGS Global Visualization Viewer, offering a long history to choose from for our time analysis and impact project. Imagery dates all the way back to September of 1972, and we hope to have as full a set of aerial imagery as possible by the end of March.
We are going to put this project on hold for a little while, as the software issues have made it challenging to continue. However, GIS remains an important part of Iracambi’s future, for researchers, our community, and helping us see where we’re at in the region. Thank you for your interest and support and we'll be back soon!
What a fun, festive christmas season it's been! And what a lot our youngsters have achieved in the last month!
Sadly, our amazing mask and mural project with Nursery manager Toni, has come to an end, but it could not have been a more tremendous end!
Excitement levels ran super high on the big revealing of the beautiful mural that the younger children painted on the wall of the parish. With the christmas lights and the happiness bubbling through the community it was a sight to see when they revealed their artwork with a flourish and each child proudly showed which animal they had carefully painted to add to the big collage!
And not only was the atmosphere alive with the pride of the mural but at seven o' clock we all were seated and an incredibly excited silence descended on all the ecstatic spectatores. And sure enough we were all spell bound by the effort the children had made painting the most exquisite masks each of their own chosen endangered animal. They performed the play Toni had written almost without fluke and the delight of their faces once it was finished and they saw all the community clapping and cheering for them was not worth missing!
All in all a real success and even now almost three weeks later we are still getting parents and children tellling us how great the whole thing was and how happy they were to have been a part of it.