A group of Oswego students spent part of their summer gaining hands-on experience with flora and fauna while helping chart the ecological future of the Brazilian Pantanal region.
Cleane Medeiros of Oswego's biological sciences department taught the international environmental studies class that allowed Oswego students to spend 12 days in this vast, flat and ecologically vital region half the size of California.
The largest contiguous wetland on earth, the Pantanal sits largely in Brazil. The student researchers are part of an effort by the Brazilian government to study the region before determining how much to open to development.
For the course, lessons began back in Oswego on not just the ecosystem but also Brazilian politics, culture, economy and history. In the field, the Oswego students joined students from two Brazilian universities for daily excursions to check traps they had set for native species. The students collected the animals for lab work at a government research farm. They measured, marked and weighed the creatures before releasing them the next day.
“I learned so much about the diversity of life in Mato Grosso do Sul. Dr. Medeiros was a blast to work with and learn from — she knew just how to explain things for me to get it the first time,” said student Brandon LaBumbard. “The 12 days I spent in Brazil are some of the best days of my life.”
The Pantanal lab in Mato Grosso do Sul has become one of the first in Oswego's world-spanning network of global laboratories.
Video: Oswego students and partners in Brazil interact with native species while supporting a wildlife survey in Brazil.