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Georgia Southern signs memorandum to begin research in Ecuador
W GSU Ecuador
Members of the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation chat with Georgia Southern University officials after signing a memorandum of understanding to establish the Human-Environment Research Station in Milpe, Ecuador. This will be the first permanent research station for Georgia Southern University in Latin America. - photo by JEREMY WILBURN/special

Georgia Southern University has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation to establish the Human-Environment Research Station in Milpe, Ecuador.

University President Brooks A. Keel, Ph.D., and professor Rob Yarbrough, Ph.D., joined Mindo Foundation President Brian Krohnke and Technical Director Leila Tania Lopez De la Cruz to sign the memorandum Wednesday.

"It's always a good day to see the Eagle Nation spread a little wider," Keel said. "This historic event ... truly does allow us to forge a partnership to establish our first permanent research station in Latin America. Students and faculty will be able to experience South American culture and heritage while gaining valuable research experience."

Mindo is an Ecuadorian nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of bird habitats in the Ecuadorian Andes. It also seeks to promote bird tourism and reforestation. The partnership will provide an opportunity in South America for Georgia Southern faculty, undergraduates and graduates to conduct innovative and groundbreaking research on sustainable livelihoods and development, transnational connections, reforestation, climate change and more.

"This is such an exciting new partnership," Yarbrough said. "This is a tremendous new opportunity for our faculty and
students to engage in human-environment research."

Krohnke and Lopez De la Cruz will join Georgia Southern professors to discuss the organization and research opportunities. The Department of Geology and Geography seminar will be held at 4 p.m. today in the Herty Building, room 2112. The event is open to the public.

"This project is exactly the thing we want to do at Georgia Southern in order to live up to our promise to be student-centered," Keel said. "I challenge you not to let this be the last project; rather, I sincerely hope that today marks the first of what I hope will be many such agreements that expand the educational horizons of our students and faculty."


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