Virginia Tech students come to Botswana pretty much every single year to participate in Alexander’s eight-week field course, Wildlife Wellness Immersion in Africa: Capture, Rehabilitation, and Forensics. Moreover, a lot of 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 perform with nearby students and researchers when mastering 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?” mentioned Alexander. “An knowledge like this one particular is useful in that it assists students answer that query far more efficiently when recognizing the value of service.”
In Botswana, Alexander founded the Virginia Tech/CARACAL Neighborhood Environmental Educators System, a joint initiative which trains young men and women across 13 schools in the district to perform as environmental educators and present on wildlife study and public well being initiatives to nearby key schools. She also launched a Wildlife Ambassadors System to encourage young students to be environmental advocates in their schools, encouraging leadership in conservation.
“We can develop a new culture of conservation by permitting young men and women to have energy and a leadership function in environmental advocacy,” Alexander mentioned. “We will need to transform the educational approach and permit self-assurance to be constructed alongside information if we are going to comprehend accurate diversity in the sciences.”
Bringing a A single Wellness viewpoint to conservation challenges
Alexander’s perform in Botswana is grounded in the A single Wellness notion, which aims to integrate many disciplines operating locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal well being for men and women, animals, and the atmosphere.
“Dr. Alexander’s perform with government and neighborhood leaders in Botswana is unparalleled,” mentioned 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 establishing 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 methods that information has the energy to adjust lives and transform the planet is important to the partnership amongst Virginia Tech and Botswana.
“The Ut Prosim (That I May possibly Serve) mandate definitely speaks to me,” Alexander mentioned. “Through the system in Botswana, Virginia Tech students and faculty are in a position to collaborate on and contribute to the a lot of challenges confronting the international landscape.”
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 perform and breaking trail for an expanded Virginia Tech footprint in Africa