An international tri-national multidisciplinary research project exploring the relationships between people, nature, and migratory species recently took three MSVU students and a professor on an extraordinary research journey to Tucson, Arizona.
Ten years ago, the research project Especies Migratorias y Gobernanza Respetuosa de sus Ambientes (EMIGRA), or Equitable Governance of Migratory Species and their Habitats, was launched. It is developing a framework of knowledge on migratory species in North America in order to gain new knowledge and understanding of telecoupled systems, which refers to socioeconomic and environmental interactions among species across geography.
This research aims to develop a deeper knowledge of these networks in order to develop conservation-focused solutions at a time when climate change and environmental change endanger the survival of migratory species.
EMIGRA connects researchers, specialists, educators, and students from a variety of disciplines, including biology, ecology, anthropology, geography, journalism, and political science, across multiple universities in North America. As an interdisciplinary project, it brings together contributors from other fields to get fresh perspectives and know-how in handling extremely complicated ecological concerns.
Alyssa Babb, a biology student; Ana Julia Gomes Nobre, a psychology and neuroscience student; Alejandra González, who is pursuing a PhD in anthropology in Mexico; and team leader Dr. Columba Gonzalez-Duarte, an assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, make up the all-female MSVU team.
Columba was invited to join the EMIGRA project two years ago so she could contribute to the team’s skills in qualitative research and dealing with migratory monarchs. In order to support efforts to conserve migratory species in North America, she underlined the importance of this research in better understanding the relationships between and impacts of multiple socio-ecological systems. Columba said that it was crucial to involve students in all phases of the research process.
The student research team members participated in immersive scientific workshops and professional development sessions during their one-week research trip to Arizona in February. The famous Biosphere 2 Earth system scientific research facility, the biggest enclosed ecological system ever constructed, is where the group convened.
Students had the chance to learn from and network with international researchers and specialists from various fields during the research trip, which was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation and held at the University of Arizona. They also gained practical research skills.
Reference and photo credits to: https://www.msvu.ca/