The Yasuní River Expedition

By Ashley

This campaign ended on June 06, 2016, but you can still make a gift to Columbus State University by clicking here!

Columbus State University's Department of Biology, in collaboration with researchers and students from Quito, Ecuador, is preparing for one of the first botanical expeditions along the Yasuní River of the Ecuadorian Amazon. This region is part of the Yasuní National Park, the most biologically diverse place on earth. Over the last fifty years, botanists have documented more than 4,000 plant species from this region with potentially hundreds of new species just waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately, much of the Amazon rainforest is also under threat by local development, which has created an urgent need to document these plant species before they disappear.

In July of 2016, an international team of 12 researchers comprised of faculty, staff, and students from CSU and Católica University would like to begin explorations of the Yasuní River region.  Travelling by two canoes, the team (lead by Botanist and Amos Visiting Scholar Alvaro Perez and Genetics Professor Kevin Burgess) would initially spend two weeks collecting, photographing and identifying plant species in this remote region to start an unprecedented plant inventory that will be stored at Católica University Herbarium for future research opportunities. The expedition is the first phase of a long-term initiative to conserve, discover and better understand the plant diversity of the Yasuní.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 for this expedition. By making a gift in support of this research project, you contribute to the efforts of our students and faculty to not only preserve and record the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest but also provide unparalleled opportunities in research and training for undergraduate and graduate students at each of the partner institutions.If funded we also hope to film a documentary based on the expedition. Shown in picture above, CSU graduate student Samantha Worthy, Professor Kevin Burgess, Wampi (Waorani field guide) and Botanist Alvaro Perez collecting samples of a new tree species during recent expedition to Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon. 

After you have made your gift, do not forget to share the campaign on Facebook and Twitter so others can be inspired by your support and make a gift as well!


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67% Faculty/Staff

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Julie Ballenger
Margie Yates
Victor Salazar
Edyth and Ron Burgess
David Mitchell
Katey Hughes
Clifton Ruehl
Sarah Darville
Elizabeth Klar
Michael Rohly
Samantha Jo Worthy photoSamantha Jo Worthy
John Hetzel photoJohn Hetzel
Dennis M Rome
Dr. Kevin S. Burgess
Jill Carroll

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