Project Title: An Innovative US-Chilean Student Exchange Program: Linking Long Term Socio-Ecological Research and Sustainable Development (Linking UNT-Chile for LTSER).
The University of North Texas, in partnership with Chilean institutions, Universidad de Magallanes and the Institute for Ecology and Biodiversity exceeded their projected target of engaging five (5) HEIs during this project, reaching twelve (12) universities. One of their greatest successes, thus far, is expanding their collaborative relationship with the University of Connecticut. Due in large part to the 100K grant, their course offering has been extended to UCONN and they will continue with UNT to participate in the flagship field course, “Tracing Darwin’s Path”. UNT and UCONN have submitted a joint pre-proposal to the National Science Foundation, which was selected to submit a full proposal. The program proposal, submitted in May 2015, proposed to increase sustainability for study abroad exchanges. This will eventually support collaborative research and education that will enable UConn students’ participation in this study abroad program annually. Students who traveled through UNT’s program were able to attend the 23rd International Association of Bryology Conference 2015 at Omora Park in southern Chile. UNT felt that it was a great experience to talk about 100K to people of different backgrounds and interests, and to encourage them to apply for conferences, meetings and courses. With the small travel support that the grant provided, UNT was able to send students from six different universities to participate in three different international conferences, workshops and/or courses. The students all traveled to Chile to participate and present their research at the annual All-Scientists Meeting of the Americas and International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER) Network. The ILTER meeting gave these students the opportunity to engage with a network of scientists working on long-term, site-based ecological and socio-economic research.