Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Together with Dr. Vandewalle and Mr. Sutcliffe, Dr. Alexander provides certificates of completion to youth graduating from the research internship program in the study site. In this program operated under the NSF project in collaboration with CARACAL (, youth from the Botswana Youth Council conduct research with VT graduate and undergraduate students and VT/CARACAL staff. This program is run in collaboration with the Chobe Safari Lodge. Students receive hands on training in hospitality and service skills  and wildlife disease research. Botswana youth are unemployed and unoccupied, a chronic problem recognized by the Government of Botswana. The Botswana Youth Council was established by Government  to provide a source of communication, training, and opportunity for youth. Our program works in collaboration with the Council, providing  training that will facilitate future employment. The program is also designed to inspire Batswana youth to see the value and to motivate interest in science and discovery. Increasing participation and professional development of citizens in coupled human - environment research is an important first step in realizing real and lasting impact.The program is also designed to instill an ethic of service and outreach in Virginia Tech students working under the NSF program. Our Botswana youth program provides importantly for both Batswana and American youth as we seek to identify leadership in sustainability and successful management of the ecosystems on which we depend.

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