Artificial GPS-embedded turtle eggs are making headlines
Artificial GPS-embedded turtle eggs are making headlines
Paso Pacifico's Board of Directors recenty met for its annual retreat and used the time to reflect on its systems-based approach to conservation and to consider opportunities to make ground-breaking impacts in dry tropical forest and coastal conservation. Pictured left to right is: Lotte Roache, Christine Schmidt, Sarah Otterstrom, Derek Schlereth, Teresa Lang, and Phil Torres.
With the help of facilitator Nusa Maal from the Center for Multisensory Leadership, the board members created a visual representation of Paso Pacifico's programs, linking strategies to the urgent conservation needs, and honing in on key and effective approaches that can be scaled. Stay tuned in the coming months about programs that will be strengthened and expanded as a result of this fruitful retreat.
As a 501c3 non-profit organization, Paso Pacifico's Board meets six times per year to review the organization's programs and finances and to ensure that our work is helping us to advance towards our non-profit mission. Board members are eager to hear from donors and Paso Pacifico's program beneficiaries and may be contacted via Photo Credit: Kevin King
Sea turtle conservation is a major focus of our coastal conservation efforts. We have found that despite the seven years with our highly effective and dedicated community sea turtle rangers, turtle egg poaching continues to be a major threat. In response, we designed an artificial sea turtle egg embedded with trackers to help uncover the illegal trade routes for sea turtle eggs. This design solution was selected a winner in the USAID, Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge.
This month, the Washington Post published an article featuring the role that Paso Pacifico's 3D printed eggs will play in combating the illegal sea turtle egg trade. And the Guardian's conservation blog posted another article explaining the history behind the design solution.  We appreciate the interest from the public in this technology, and look forward to sharing the results of this innovation with our donors in the coming months. 
For over seven years, Paso Pacifico has partnered with the USDA Forest Service International Institute for Tropical Forestry (USFS-IITF) in implementing the Junior Ranger program. This program allows us to reach out to disadvantaged youth in rural communities of Nicaragua to advance conservation efforts through education. The sustained support of USFS-IITF throughout this program has allowed us to develop a multi-subject curriculum which covers everything from parrots to primates, and helped us lead dozens of children on learning excursions in the forests and on the beaches.
Our Junior Rangers are active participants in helping to monitor the wildlife in their neighborhoods.  For example, we participated in the Global Big Day bird counting event in May, 55 Junior Rangers participated thorughout the day, observing 73 bird species! Paso Pacifico staff continues to implement trainings and field trips for the kids and later this month has several days set aside for bird monitoring with these young citizen scientists.
Thanks to the continued support from IITF and the generous contributions of other partners including the Disney Conservation Fund, the Prince Bernhard Nature Fund, the Loro Parque Foundation, and the New England BioLabs Foundation, Paso Pacifico is able to continue this education program and lay the foundation for future conservation!
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Murielle Vergniol is a volunteer researcher for Paso Pacifico. She is also a Master's student in Applied Ecology and Biodiversity Management at the University of Montpellier in France. She is working towards a career in tropical wildlife conservation, and this season has focused her field work on the howler monkeys. Her study is crucial to assessing the long term effects of the howler monkey die-off which ocurred earlier this year. Murielle has worked at three key forest areas in the Paso del Istmo, including at Aqua Wellness Resort and Morgan's Rock Hacienda and Ecolodge where she likewise provided valuable information to these partners working to conserve their forests.
Murielle's positive attitude and strong work ethic have enabled her to gather valuable data while also building new friendships with the Paso Pacifico team. We wish Murielle all the best in completing her Master's degree!
Paso Pacifico is grateful to Nusa Maal for generously sharing her time and expertise to facilitate our recent board retreat. She is an innovator behind techniques using multi-sensory approaches to help people and organizations move to the next level. What was particularly exciting about Nusa's work with us was she helped us to map out the ecosystem of our programs while grounding them within the Central American landscape. Nusa's also challenged us to explore the new and developing opportunities before us. 
Nusa has decades of experience in different aspects of psychology, multisensory learning and visual facilitation. She is the founder of the Center for Multisensory Leadership, and is in the process of writing her doctoral dissertation on multisensory leadership. Thank you Nusa for helping us envision our growth and success! 
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