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Section Update: Latin America and the Caribbean (LACA)


1. LACA as host of ICCB 2017

The leadership of all the ICCB committees has been established: Scientific Committee, Local Organizing Committee, Communications Committee, Development Committee, Diversity Committee, Education and Student Affairs Committee, Travel Awards Committee. Board of Directors member Sandra Pompa is co-Chair for the Communications Committee, while Tsitsi McPherson is the co-Chair of the Diversity Committee. LACA President Olivier Chassot sits on the ICCB 2017 Steering Committee. A visit to Bogotá and Cartagena is planned in October with the main aim to meet one on one with all the Colombian organizations that have expressed interest in joining the Local Organizing Committee. So far, key contributing Colombian organizations include: WCS Colombia, Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia, ProCat Colombia, Fundazoo - Barranquilla Botanical and Zoological Foundation, Panthera Colombia, Universidad de los Andes, Universidad de Cartagena, Fundación Natura, Instituto Humboldt, Universidad Javeriana, Fundacion Tortugas del Mar and Conservación Internacional Colombia. The LACA Section intends to use ICCB 2017 as an opportunity to foster the establishment of several SCB LACA Chapters. To read more on ICCB 2017 click here.

2.  Brazil and The Southern Cone as SCB LACA Chapters

Eduardo Ponce, LACA’s Director of Chapters is working on establishing at least two new Chapters for the Society: 1) The Southern Cone Regional Chapter formed by researchers from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, and 2) a Brazilian Chapter. We’ll keep you posted on the creation and joining procedures of this chapters. There are high hopes to foster the establishment of a Colombia Chapter in the wake of ICCB 2017. We’ll keep you posted on the creation and joining procedures of this chapters.

3. LACA Professional Development Scholarship
The Section will promote LACA’s Professional Development Scholarship through Anthony Giordano, LACA’s Scholarship Coordinator. This scholarship supports graduate student research in conservation. In 2015, these funds were awarded to LACA student members to attend ICCB 2015 and the LACA board is discussing the idea for 2017. This award can also be awarded to LACA graduate students in order to support their research projects. As with the past year, graduate students must be enrolled in a graduate program in Latin America and working in the field of conservation biology (or related) in the region. This program is intended to be a competitive application program and proposals will be reviewed by a LACA board committee. General program guidelines for applicants will mandate that all proposals specifically request support for thesis or dissertation fieldwork on a conservation theme in Latin America.

4. Social Networks

LACA’s Facebook page and Twitter (@LACA_SCB) platforms are used, in addition to the mailing list, for communication and exchange of important information and research ideas. Several research grants and a large number of funding opportunities are posted almost every week. Everyone is welcome to follow LACA social media accounts!

5. 2016 Student Conference on Conservation Science - New York
The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation and its partners invite graduate students, post-docs, and early-career professionals to take part in the seventh annual Student Conference on Conservation Science – New York (SCCS-NY) October 20-22, 2016. We are pleased to report that this year SCCS-NY received support from SCB, and SCB will be present at the Resource & Career Fair on Oct 20. As a part of the only international series of conservation conferences featuring students, SCCS-NY provides opportunities for emerging scientists to professionally network, gain experience, and present and get feedback on their work. Interactions with peers as well as leaders in science, policy and management will encourage collaborations, inspire further research, and create lasting professional connections. Prizes are awarded for overall best talk, speed talk, and poster. Additional awards for outstanding work in land use and stewardship will be presented, courtesy of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; and for outstanding use of quantitative methods courtesy of Applied Biomathematics. Last year, SCCS-NY 2015 hosted over 200 participants, representing 29 countries and 15 U.S. states. Please contact Ana Luz Porzecanski, director of the hosting Center and Director of Education for the LACA section, for additional information.
6. Call for interest in hosting the LACA 2018 Regional Meeting
The LACA Section is planning its first Regional Meeting in 2018 and is now open to receive expressions of interest from host countries and organizations in the region willing to take leadership to convene our first ever meeting. If you are interested, please contact the LACA Board of Directors by sending a 1-5 page expression of interest (English or Spanish) by December 15, 2016, highlighting: possible venues (host city capacity, venue capacity), proposed dates, fundraising potential, local incentives, participant health and safety, financial accessibility (visa requirements, travel options), location desirability (possible field trips, biodiversity, culture), and prospective partnering organizations willing to share leadership with the LACA Section.
LACA 2016 Board of Directors
Olivier Chassot, President 
Karla Pelz Serrano, Secretary
Nigel Noriega, Chief Financial Officer
Tsitsi McPherson, Director of Nominations
Ana Luz Porzecanski, Director of Education
Anthony J. Giordano, President Elect
Eduardo Ponce, Director of Chapters
Valeria Towns, Director of Membership
Sandra Pompa, Director of Communications
Rurik List, Past President