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Omora Park students win first prize in Chilean national science fair

Teresa Contador Chilean science fair

Students at UNT’s Chilean environmental education workshop won first prize in 2010 in the South American nation’s annual science fair.

Their mentor was Tamara Contador, a doctoral student in biology who works with the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program. Above, Felipe Leyton, Carlos Saavedra, Contador and Francisco Olivares.

Contador helped the students develop the award-winning project, “Diversity and abundance of freshwater invertebrates on rocky and submerged wood habitats in the Ukika River, Navarino Island, Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve.” The project was presented in national competition in the city of Concepcion

Since 2000, the Omora Park in Puerto Williams has conducted an environmental education workshop as an elective in the local elementary school.
 
This course has allowed the school to be one of the first in the region to obtain environmental certification by the Chilean Environment Commission, and permits the students of the Omora workshop to participate in the annual Magallanes Regional Science Fair with the support of the Explora Program of the Chilean Science Commission, the Provincial Government and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity’s Outreach Program funded by the Millennium Scientific Initiative.
 
The environmental course is supported by the researchers and students working in Omora Park, and all graduate students conducting thesis and dissertation research there serve as teachers.

The program is an international and interdisciplinary program with partners in the United States and Chile. The program’s purpose is to study and conserve the biocultural diversity in the subantarctic ecoregion. The Omora Ethnobotanical Park is located at the southern tip of South America in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve.

The Omora Park project has earned international recognition for its sustainability research, and the Center for Achievement and Lifelong Learning sponsored a January visit to the area during its Travel and Learn Program. 

Photo courtesy of Denece L. Gerlach, Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program

Posted on: Tue 25 January 2011

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