By: Suzanne Kent
Collaborators from Honduras, Italy, and the U.S. are working together on a project concerned with environmental processes on the island of Utila, conservation efforts, voluntourism, and local livelihoods. While the roots of the collaboration stretch back a number of years, with the help of CCC funding we were able to bring several partners to Colorado for the CCC retreat in May of 2016. Next, faculty and graduate students from the University of Memphis and CSU conducted fieldwork on Utila in the summer of 2016. Since that time, the team has been working to manage and analyze the informative set of data resulting from the fieldwork.
In May of 2017, lead researcher Dr. Keri Brondo (University of Memphis) traveled to Utila again to meet with the Honduran-based team members. She presented preliminary research findings and explored next steps. Key topics included: designing and seeking funding for a culture history project; enhancing collaboration between organizations, agencies and others on Utila; and developing recommendations for voluntourism arrangements. In the coming weeks, the team is excited to develop action plans for the collaborating organizations based on the research findings and numerous dialogues and communications.
Iguana Station / Fundacion Islas de la Bahia (FIB)
Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA)
Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL)
Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center (WSORC)