Moses, Kelli , Lewis, Lily , Méndez, Manuela , Medina, Yanet , Kozar, Macy , Massardo, Francisca , Goffinet, Bernard , Rozzi, Ricardo .
Ecotourism with a hand-lens: Integrating bryological research, education, and conservation through scientific tourism in the Magellanic sub-Antarctic ecoregion.
We introduce a methodological model we have developed to integrate interdisciplinary ecological research, education and conservation into scientific tourism through an interrelated four-step cycle: i) interdisciplinary ecological and ethical research, ii) composition of metaphors, and communication through simple narratives, iii) design of guided field experiences with an ecological and ethical orientation, and iv) implementation of in situ conservation areas. The Masters of Science in sub-Antarctic Conservation at the University of Magallanes in partnership with the University of North Texas is using this cycle as a structured methodology to design theses and academic curricula for students who are creating innovative educational and ecotourism activities, such as “Ecotourism with a Hand Lens.” Results/Conclusions: Ecological and biodiversity research conducted in the sub-Antarctic Magellanic ecoregion found that >5% of the world’s non-vascular plant species are in <0.01% of the Earth’s land surface. Through the composition of a metaphor, “The Miniature Forests of Cape Horn” (MFCH), Omora Ethnobotanical Park (OEP) researchers succeeded in communicating these floristic discoveries to Chilean and international decision makers, as well as initiating educational programs based on non-vascular flora and training tourism guides. Graduate students are using this knowledge to conduct guided field experiences with an ecological and ethical orientation, which permit visitors to appreciate the beauty, diversity, and ecosystem services provided by the exuberant sub-Antarctic non-vascular flora. These initial steps stimulated research on the terrestrial and freshwater invertebrate fauna associated with the MFCH. Finally, an interdisciplinary team of OEP researchers and students designed the MFCH trail, and a novel brochure which enables visitors and the general public to enjoy this activity, which has economic, as well as educational and conservation benefits. “Ecotourism with a Hand Lens” can be conducted all year round, has low environmental impact, highlights the uniqueness of the sub-Antarctic biodiversity, and offers a new experience to visitors who enjoy to "slow down" to appreciate an ecological beauty previously overlooked.
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Omora sub-Antarctic Research Alliance
UNT sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program
1 - University of North Texas, Environmental Philosophy, UNT-Chile Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program
University of North Texas, PO Box 310920, Denton, TX, 76203, United States
2 - University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 N. Eagleville Rd. , Unit 3043, Storrs, CT, 06269-3043, United States
3 - Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile
4 - Swarthmore University, United States
5 - Universidad de Magellanes, Punta Arenas, Chile
6 - University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 75 N. Eagleville Rd., Storrs, CT, 06269-3043, USA
Chilean sub-Antarctic Forests
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Hall A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 5:30 PM