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Time to wake up as conservationists

Its time we took note and took care of mother nature. A program aimed towards this goal is underway in USA. It is called the Canon National Parks Science Scholars // Program. It currently inducts its ninth class with eight doctoral students -- from Canada to Chile, and from Florida to Ohio, Illinois and Georgia. These chosen few are receiving significant multi-year scholarships this year to conduct cutting-edge research critical to conserving and managing National parks throughout America.

This is a collaborative effort between Canon U.S.A., Inc., the National Park Service (NPS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The programme selects and gives scholarships to students from the disciplines of biological sciences, physical sciences, social and cultural sciences, and technology innovation in support of conservation science.

According to Dr. Gary Machlis, Canon Scholars program coordinator and NPS visiting senior scientist "We are enthused and energized to welcome this new group of outstanding young scientists to the program. Their selection by the AAAS recognizes the scientific merit of their projects, which will benefit national parks throughout the Americas."

As Yoroku Adachi, president and CEO of Canon U.S.A., Inc. and chairman of Canon Canada, Inc put it, "As a member of the world community, Canon will continue to actively contribute to society through programs that enhance scientific exploration and the protection of the global environment. We are proud to partner with AAAS and the U.S. NPS to sustain this unique and very important program."

AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner said, "The Canon Scholars program perfectly fulfills AAAS' mission to advance science and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people. Investing in the next generation of researchers makes good sense for the long-term health of national parks, national treasures throughout the Americas."

Some of the Cannon scholar’s hall of fame.

Benjamin Gilbert from Buckingham, Quebec, Canada, and a student at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) will study exotic plants in Kluane National Park (Yukon, Canada) to determine if invasive species cause the greatest loss of native species in areas protected from land-use change.

Natalie Ban from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is a student at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) who is comparing the conservation potential of stakeholder-driven versus science-driven marine reserves election in the province.

Trevor Lantz from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and studying at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) will look at climate change, disturbance and tall shrub dynamics in the western Canadian arctic and subarctic.

Julia McCleave from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) will study the regional integration of national parks in Canada.

Ivan Diaz from Santiago, Chile, and the University of Florida (Gainesville,Florida, U.S.A.) will study the food web supported by large trees that involves epiphytes, arthropods and birds in Chiloe National Park (Grand Island of Chiloe in southern Chile) with emphasis in conservation and management.

Laurel Griggs Larsen from Titusville, Florida, and the University of Colorado-Boulder (Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.) is studying formation and maintenance of the ridge and slough landscape in Everglades National Park (Homestead, Florida).

Colleen O'Brien from Hudson, Ohio, and the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia, U.S.A.) will conduct research in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (Ajo, Arizona).

Crow White from Barrington, Illinois, and the University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.) is studying at Channel Isla nds National Park Ventura, California.

The following students received 2005 Honorable Mention Awards for the same:

Matthew A. Bowker, Northern Arizona University (U.S.A.)

Constanza Alejandra Casanova De Larraechea, Southern Illinois University (U.S.A.)

Melanie Murphy, Washington State University(U.S.A.)

Paul White, Brown University (U.S.A.)

This is a great initiative and if started in India can do wonders for our ecology
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