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Academy establishes Asia Center to protect the environment
Date:4/3/2008

as since led teams of international scientists in studying the impacts of global warming and increased grazing of sheep, goats and other cattle on the steppe grassland and forest of the watershed of pristine and ancient Lake Hovsgol. The National Science Foundation recently announced a five-year, $2.5 million grant to expand this research and to involve other ecologists, evolutionists and anthropologists at The Academy of Natural Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Mongolia University of Science and Technology and National University of Mongolia.

Dr. Jon Gelhaus, an Academy entomologist who has surveyed aquatic insects in Mongolia since 1996, also recently received a three-year, $740,000 NSF grant to inventory the freshwater insects of waterways in the Altai and the Hangai mountains of western and southcentral Mongolia, building on a previous NSF study he led on the Selenge River Basin in northcentral Mongolia. Studies of aquatic insect taxonomy and distribution provide important information for understanding insect communities, which are being threatened by mining, untreated wastes, over-grazing, fires and climate change. The baseline data will aid in future water quality monitoring programs within the Mongolian government. The project also involves American and European scientists working with Mongolian scientists and students on training programs and the development of scientific infrastructure. Academy partners include the Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology in Mongolia and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

Academy scientists in recent years also have conducted field surveys in Mongolia in search of Amur catfish and rotifers (microscopic aquatic invertebrates).

The Historical Collection

The Academys history in Asia reaches back to its founding in 1812. At the time, Philadelphia merchants accounted for fully one third of the trade between America and China, as well as a significant portion of the America-India trade. These As
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Contact: Carolyn Belardo
belardo@ansp.org
215-299-1043
The Academy of Natural Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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