June 30, 2014
After encountering a number of Latin American school children who were unfamiliar with the species native to their home countries, Dave Pearson --- a sustainability scientist and research professor in the School of Life Sciences --- found that such knowledge was key to grasping concepts like conservation. This motivated him to host his first biodiversity workshop, which occurred while he was working toward his master's degree in Peru. Thirty years later, Pearson travels the world, holding frequent biodiversity workshops for children, adults and university students alike.
In mid-July, Pearson will host yet another workshop, this one at the Peruvian Amazonian Research Institute in Iquitos, Peru. Here he will teach dozens of university students about critical thinking, the scientific method and sustainable biodiversity. Such workshops are part of Pearson's broader plan, which is to empower the people of each country he visits to solve ecological problems in their own way. He states that other conservation efforts have failed because foreign solutions do not necessarily work for everyone.
“...when I visit other countries...I work with them rather than tell them how things work,” Pearson says. “...these are Peruvian problems with Peruvian solutions, and they know their culture well enough to make the changes their way.”