As part of their Global Reset series, Seed Magazine explores how a reformation of the culture and practice of science could help the scientific community respond to global challenges:
An interdisciplinary approach is necessary for the weighty, interconnected problems—from sustainable development to climate change—that are most in need of science transfer. And bringing scientists and their ideas together is a dependable way of generating new ideas, sometimes of the world-changing variety.
At Paso Pacifico, we depend on the latest, most cutting edge conservation science to inform all of our decision-making and to help endangered plants and wildlife avoid extinction and thrive in their natural habitats. We collaborate with Nicaraguan universities, international scientists, and other researchers to bring the newest scientific knowledge into the field, where science-based monitoring gauges the effectiveness of our conservation programs.
“Knowledge is not exclusively limited to the university. There is local knowledge from indigenous people, especially on the environment.”
In addition to bolstering conservation efforts, we provide scientific tools and field training to schoolchildren, young scientists, and others. We conduct biodiversity monitoring by partnering with local landowners and fishermen who receive careful training and help conduct baseline studies and monitor wildlife.
In another Seed piece specifically on Creating Citizen Scientists, Dave Munger explains its importance:
Citizen science isn’t just a public relations exercise: it makes a significant contribution to the corpus of scientific knowledge. Improved public awareness of science is an important additional benefit, but it’s not the primary goal of citizen science. Rather, this emerging technique allows scientists to make use of what is still the most powerful computational resource on the planet: the human brain.
The social sciences are also a critical component of Paso Pacific’s Conservation Science program and our efforts to strengthen local communities. Ethnographic, socio-economic data, and livelihood-specific data help Paso Pacifico to better understand attitudes towards wildlife and to identify the social drivers of land use along corridors. We use this information to collaborate with communities to identify restoration needs and innovative ways to preserve natural resources. Our interdisciplinary approach along with our commitment to working with multiple partners stakeholders allow us to harness science and achieve measurable results.