• Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

Kathleen Alexander brings a A single Overall health vision to conservation efforts in Botswana | VTx


Mar 17, 2023

Virginia Tech students come to Botswana just about just about every year to participate in Alexander’s eight-week field course, Wildlife Overall health Immersion in Africa: Capture, Rehabilitation, and Forensics. Also, quite a few professors and graduate students have utilized the CARACAL facility to conduct study in the area.

Alexander has also brought African American higher college students to Botswana to perform with regional students and researchers whilst understanding 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 practical experience like this 1 is beneficial in that it assists students answer that query additional proficiently whilst 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 perform as environmental educators and present on wildlife study and public well being initiatives to regional main 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 make a new culture of conservation by enabling young individuals to have energy and a leadership part in environmental advocacy,” Alexander mentioned. “We have to have to transform the educational course of action and permit self-confidence to be constructed alongside understanding if we are going to understand accurate diversity in the sciences.”

Bringing a A single Overall health point of view to conservation challenges

Alexander’s perform in Botswana is grounded in the A single Overall health notion, which aims to integrate numerous disciplines functioning locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal well being for individuals, 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 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 involving the study that scientists do and the methods that understanding has the energy to adjust lives and transform the planet is vital to the partnership involving Virginia Tech and Botswana.

“The Ut Prosim (That I Might Serve) mandate actually speaks to me,” Alexander mentioned. “Through the system in Botswana, Virginia Tech students and faculty are capable to collaborate on and contribute to the quite a few 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 perform and breaking trail for an expanded Virginia Tech footprint in Africa