Country Coordinator Uruguay
Andrea Ventoso has been the Country Coordinator for Uruguay since 2009. She also served as the Latin America+Caribbean representative for the GLOBE International Advisory Committee (GIAC) from 2010-2012. GIAC representatives serve for a term of two years and provide advice to the GLOBE Program Office (GPO) management team in order to assist the GPO in making progress toward program goals including student-teacher-scientist partnerships, regionalization and issues surrounding programmatic sustainability. As such, the role of a GIAC member is crucial to the success of GLOBE implementation around the world.
Ms. Ventoso has been working with the GLOBE Program since 1995, when she first became involved as an assistant to former Country Coordinator Luján Jara. After obtaining her degree in Library Science at the University of the Republic in Montevideo, she began working as a librarian collaborating with environmental education issues at the National Directorate of the Environment in the Ministry of Housing, Land Planning and Environment in the Environmental Education Division. She participated in teacher trainings in 1995 and 1999 and became a Certified GLOBE Teacher. Currently, Ms. Ventoso's role has expanded to include very active involvement in GLOBE implementation in her country and the region. In May 2011, she helped to inspire new teachers and reinvigorate previously trained teachers through local expansion of GLOBE beyond primary grade levels into the high school biology curriculum. GLOBE in Uruguay currently includes trained teachers from 11 of 19 municipalities, countrywide.
Recently, Ms. Ventoso participated in an awards ceremony for GLOBE teacher Patricia Píriz and students of República de la India, School No. 85, for their investigations of the pollution of one of the main water courses in Montevideo, the stream Miguelete, that they have been studying since last year and continue to study with GLOBE alumni, Melisa Cristóbal and Claudio Lacuesta. The students presented their stream research at the regional Science Fair at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of the Republic, in Montevideo. The next step is participating at the Uruguay National Fair of Sciences in the city of Salto in October. The students of República de la India, School No. 85, also engage their local community annually in the study of light pollution.
Ms. Ventoso enjoys promoting GLOBE among teachers in her locality. "GLOBE allows teachers to choose from a suite of GLOBE protocols and activities that are age-appropriate and appealing to a wide variety of interests," writes Ms. Ventoso. "As a GLOBE team, we are working now on the photographs and design of a Species Recognition Guide, on native species of trees and shrubs that will help teachers to work on phenology protocols and activities. This was a need identified at the workshop and it will prove useful for all teachers in throughout Uruguay."
Finding sponsors to fund the purchase of needed equipment, to provide transport for teachers to attend workshops and to organize their field activities with students, has become another challenge Ms. Ventoso has taken on. She is on the lookout for organizations or institutions in the GLOBE Latin America+Caribbean with which to collaborate. Increasing environmental knowledge and awareness is what inspires Ms. Ventoso, and in turn, her inspiration serves to increase environmental awareness in the region. The GLOBE Program Office wishes to commend Andrea Ventoso for her untiring support to implement GLOBE in Uruguay and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.