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Latin America and the Caribbean V Regional Meeting San Antonio, Texas

The Fifth Meeting of GLOBE Country Coordinators in the Latin American and the Caribbean Consortium (CLAC) took place in San Antonio, Texas on 27-28 July 2007, followed by the 11th GLOBE Annual Conference. Country Coordinators and representatives attended from Argentina, the Bahamas, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Country representatives and members of the GPO team are shown here at the GLOBE Annual banquet held at the historic Sunset Station.

The main objectives of this meeting were to:

  • Confirm the CLAC Working Committee coordinators and members for the upcoming year;
  • Discuss the achievements of each of the CLAC Working Committees since the Panama meeting in February and determine a one year action plan for each commission going forward;
  • Discuss funding strategies for the region as well as future collaborative projects, such as the successful GLOBE at Night field campaign, the Seasons and Biomes ESSP, working with Rotary International and UNESCO;
  • Find out about specific GLOBE implementations in each country, including challenges and successes that might assist other countries with their GLOBE programs. Country updates and reports were presented by: Argentina, the Bahamas, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru (Country Coordinator for Mexico, Guadalupe Pardo, kindly presented for David Solano who was unable to attend), Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and Uruguay.

For 2007-2008, the CLAC Working Committees and their goals are as follows:

  • Training Committee: Under the coordination of Mexico, this committee also includes Guatemala, Paraguay and Trinidad and Tobago. The Training Committee plans to increase the number of Master Trainers (MT) in Latin America and the Caribbean. The committee is committed to having two Master Trainers available in each investigation area and to further standardizing the MT qualifications and selection process.

  • Communication Committee: Under the coordination of Costa Rica, it also includes Trinidad and Tobago. The Communication Committee is dedicated to establishing effective and regular communication between CLAC Country Coordinators. The committee will organized two virtual meetings for the CLAC Country Coordinators, provide a summary report for each meeting available on the GLOBE Web site and also serve as an intermediary to facilitate answering GLOBE questions posed on the Web site.

  • Political and Resource Management Strategies Committee: Under the coordination of Argentina, this committee also includes Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. The committee is focused on promoting coordination between public and private institutions to strengthen the GLOBE program at the national and regional levels through the identification of resources, funding and support. To this end, the committee will develop a database of potential project partners for GLOBE, initiate and manage at least two regional level projects (such as GLOBE USA, Rotary Club or Lions Club), and also support a network of GLOBE Regional Alumni that includes former GLOBE students from each country.

  • Educational Development Committee: Under the coordination of Colombia, this committee also includes Panama. The committee is committed to integrating the GLOBE Program into country curricula and will implement a pilot project in Colombia. Following Phase I of the pilot project, Panama and Colombia will document lessons learned from the project and Phase I results.

  • Projects Committee: This committee is coordinated by the Dominican Republic. It also includes the Bahamas and Suriname. The Projects Committee is focused on identifying biomes of the region, taking regular atmosphere and soil measurements as well as making phenology investigations. The first project will focus on the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, seeding a garden to attract the hummingbirds, record their feeding and migratory patterns from the EU and Canada. Over the next five years, the committee will develop a database of the migration and behavior of hummingbirds, the weather, climate, soil and land cover. Combining hummingbird observations with other GLOBE measurements will provide data for student research and analysis.

  • Inter Institutional Linkages Committee: Under the coordination of Peru, it also includes Honduras. The work plan for this committee is currently under development.

Since the Country Coordinators from Bolivia, El Salvador and Puerto Rico were unable to attend the conference and to select their preferred committees, their committee appointments will be determined at a later date.

During the V Regional Meeting, despite multiple viewpoints and approaches, GLOBE Coordinators from 16 countries worked collaboratively together to achieve their goals. With so much to accomplish, participants often had to be reminded to break for lunch and then worked late into the evening long past their planned meeting times in order to ensure that everyone had a stake in the process and that their overall objectives were met. Such enduring friendships, dedication to student research and learning, each country's presentation of the many GLOBE challenges and successes, all serve as reminders that CLAC is making history not only at a national and regional level, but worldwide.

13 November 2007