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May 2010
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TEAM Captures Photo of Jaguar
La Selva Addresses Climate Change
OTS Agreement with Costa Rican Foreign Affairs
Comb Duck Sighting
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OTS Travel Survey
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TEAM Captures Photo of Jaguar

The TEAM (Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring) Project at La Selva is thrilled to share their latest photo of an individual jaguar in Braulio Carrillo National Park. The photo was taken by a monitoring system located at 1785 m.a.s.l., which is considered to be high elevation habitat for jaguar.

According to Johanna Hurtado, the Volcán Barva TEAM Site Leader, the jaguar looks very healthy and curious. She compared the spot patterns with the jaguar caught on camera in 2005 and concluded that it appears to be a different individual.

The Volcán Barva TEAM site is located within both the La Selva Biological Station and the adjacent Braulio Carrillo National Park. The Organization of Tropical Studies (OTS) manages this TEAM site, which was established in 2003. The TEAM project is run by Conservation International with a mission to generate real time data for monitoring long-term trends in tropical biodiversity through a global network of field stations, providing an early warning system on the status of biodiversity to effectively guide conservation action.

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La Selva Holds Two Workshops Addressing Climate Change

NSF logoOn April 14-17, Dr. Catherine Pringle and Dr. Chip Small coordinated a workshop on "Carbon Cycling in Tropical Streams". The workshop brought together together 22 researchers to share their research updates on small streams and large rivers (Amazon, Mekong, and Congo Rivers), as well as several planning sessions that will result in synthesis papers and a special session at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society for Limnology and Oceanography in Puerto Rico. This workshop was supported by the NSF Research Coordination Network (RCN) grant "Tropical Forests in a Changing World."

Rivers and streams transport large amounts of dissolved carbon away from local watersheds but this phenomenon has been largely overlooked in many regional and global carbon budgets.  Warm tropical streams have particularly high rates of carbon processing by microbes and are often located in areas with rapidly developing economies, and yet relatively few studies have focused on carbon dynamics in tropical streams.  Any attempt to understand the biosphere's response to global climate change must consider the role of the tropical world's rivers and streams.  

"Carbon Cycling in Tropical Streams" Participants, April 2010
River Workshop Group

Most recently, a workshop entitled "Communicating Climate Change to the Public," was held from May 6-9. This workshop was sponsored by the NSF Panamerican Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) "Global Change and Tropical Ecosystems." 

The two goals of this workshop were to provide the latest updates on climate research, including "Geoengineering," "Ocean Acidification," "Latest Climate Results from La Selva," and "Communicating Paleoclimatology," from leading experts and to explore the dynamic interface between science and the public.  The sessions and informal gatherings proved to be both productive and provocative.
PASI logoWorkshop participants included 18 young ecologists, primarily graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, from the United States and Latin America, in addition to a panel of climate scientists and the New York Times environmental journalist Andrew C. Revkin, who said "It was great to see young scientists from two hemispheres working together to improve understanding of the interface between biology and climate and to explore fresh ways to communicate their work to various publics.". 

This workshop was organized by Dr. Deedra McClearn, Dr. Delphine Farmer, and Paul Foster.  The climate panelists included Dr. Juliane Fry (Reed College), Dr. Delphine Farmer (NOAA), Dr. Deborah Clark (La Selva), and Dr. Kim Cobb (Georgia Institute of Technology).

L-R: Deborah Clark, Kim Cobb, Juliane Fry, Delphine Farmer, Andrew Revkin

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OTS strengthens relations with the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Signing AgreementOn April 8th, 2010, OTS signed an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote Costa Rican best practices abroad.
This agreement is within the framework of the Best Practices Program, which was developed with the support of the German Cooperation Agency (GTZ), and the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID). The ultimate goal of this venture is to connect governments with organizations which have the experience and vision to share their knowledge of a particular field.
Through this program, OTS will provide the Ministry with details about our activities and the Ministry will promote our activities as an example of good practices throughout the world. Whenever a government of any country demonstrates interest on these experiences, the Ministry may support OTS' work with the government in question to provide an assessment and implementation of practices.
The Ministry is providing institutions, such as OTS, with a powerful and innovative opportunity for exposure, fundraising, and the dissemination of knowledge in a broad and agile way; especially when the world economies are still in a recovery process. The spread out of scientific knowledge focused on nature constitutes today an important issue among the countries.
Dr. Liana Babbar, OTS Director for Costa Rica, who signed the agreement on behalf of OTS, stated, (translated) "The opportunity provided by the Foreign Affairs Ministry will allow OTS to support the development of the region. One of the projects will consist of inviting Central American countries to visit OTS biological stations in order to replicate our models of management and research developed from OTS' 47 years of experience on the promotion of education, research, and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics, as well as the experience we have on biodiversity data".
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Comb Duck Sighting - A Deeper Look Reveals a Classic OTS Experience: Collaboration

In the April edition of the E-Canopy, we ran a short article on the recent sighting of a new avifauna species at Palo Verde. The original article failed to recognize all of the participants involved in the sighting and identification of this species. This omission was a lost opportunity to celebrate the true spirit of OTS: collaboration. 
Photo by S.Dinsmore, 2010 Palo Verde
Comb Duck 2010

On March 18, Rafael Ramírez, an OTS naturalist on staff at Palo Verde, was leading a group of fourteen students from Iowa State University with their professors, Dr. Stephen Dinsmore and Dr. Jim Pease. As the group approached the lagoon, Dr. Dinsmore and one of the students, Tyler Harms, spotted the unusual duck flying above. Dr. Dinsmore identified the species immediately and confirmed the identification when they returned to the station later that morning.The first photograph was taken by Dr. Dinsmore to record the sighting.
The following day another member of Palo Verde staff, Gilberto Murillo, searched for the Comb Duck and spotted him in the in the lagoon area. At this point Gilbert took additional photographs for OTS' records.
A week later, the Comb Duck was GPS positioned and photographed again for the OTS GIS archives.
This exciting discovery, in true OTS style, was the collaboration of students, professors, naturalists and researchers. Congratulations to everyone involved! 
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OTS Membership T-shirt Contest
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The annual OTS Amigos t-shirt has been a long-standing tradition for decades. Each year, we have spotlighted a wide variety of tropical themes. This year, we're leaving it up to you - our members. Send us your design, illustration or photo to cathleen.lemoine@duke.edu by June 1, 2010.

In June, we will send an online poll to everyone on our E-Canopy electronic mailing list. The design with the most votes will be selected as the new Membership t-shirt!

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OTS Group Travel Survey

BOV PeruOTS offers trips for individuals to explore the world in a unique setting
and with a group of like-minded individuals. We are planning our upcoming travel schedule and want to hear from the OTS community to determine the locations and types of trips you would like to see offered.

Please take a moment to complete this short survey. CLICK HERE

Thank you!
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OTS Memberships