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!
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