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Virginia Tech students come to Botswana virtually each and every year to participate in Alexander’s eight-week field course, Wildlife Wellness Immersion in Africa: Capture, Rehabilitation, and Forensics. On top of that, several professors and graduate students have made use of the CARACAL facility to conduct study in the area.

Alexander has also brought African American higher college students to Botswana to operate with nearby students and researchers though studying about wildlife conservation efforts in Africa. With funding from a National Science Foundation grant aimed at encouraging minority student participation in the biological sciences, Alexander expects to host a third group of higher college students at CARACAL this year.

“If a student has only ever been in a classroom, how do they know exactly where they want to go subsequent?” stated Alexander. “An expertise like this 1 is worthwhile in that it assists students answer that query extra proficiently though recognizing the value of service.”

In Botswana, Alexander founded the Virginia Tech/CARACAL Neighborhood Environmental Educators Plan, a joint initiative which trains young individuals across 13 schools in the district to operate as environmental educators and present on wildlife study and public overall health initiatives to nearby major schools. She also launched a Wildlife Ambassadors Plan to encourage young students to be environmental advocates in their schools, encouraging leadership in conservation.

“We can generate a new culture of conservation by enabling young individuals to have energy and a leadership function in environmental advocacy,” Alexander stated. “We require to transform the educational method and permit self-confidence to be constructed alongside know-how if we are going to recognize correct diversity in the sciences.”

Bringing a One particular Wellness viewpoint to conservation challenges

Alexander’s operate in Botswana is grounded in the One particular Wellness idea, which aims to integrate a number of disciplines functioning locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal overall health for individuals, animals, and the atmosphere.

“Dr. Alexander’s operate with government and neighborhood leaders in Botswana is unparalleled,” stated Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs. “Her study abroad applications and study projects have permitted students to study that study and education in the building planet are complicated and multifactorial. She is preparing the subsequent generation of citizen scientists to embrace and thrive in a complicated and globally interdependent planet.”

For Alexander, the partnership amongst the study that scientists do and the approaches that know-how has the energy to alter lives and transform the planet is vital to the partnership amongst Virginia Tech and Botswana.

“The Ut Prosim (That I Might Serve) mandate seriously speaks to me,” Alexander stated. “Through the system in Botswana, Virginia Tech students and faculty are capable to collaborate on and contribute to the numerous challenges confronting the international landscape.”

Associated stories:

Kathleen Alexander named William E. Lavery Professor

Mongoose in the city: How landscape can influence illness transmission in Botswana

Tackling the challenges of wildlife field operate and breaking trail for an expanded Virginia Tech footprint in Africa

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