Some Final Thoughts
For now, the Anthropocene is here to stay – a fact likely considered in the conception of the ABS program at TAMU. In the original proposal for the ABS program, “A reviewer…pointed out that ‘biodiversity and conservation efforts… successful elsewhere in the world (e.g., Africa) have benefited from this type of approach [actionable and integrated science], more through trial and error than purposeful training’.” To which the architects of the ABS program responded, “This ABS-IGERT is purposeful in this regard; it will prepare researchers of different disciplines to understand and coordinate with each other, linking interdisciplinary teams with institutions and actors in conservation”(p. 5)23.
Although this quote is in the context of collaborative research, it can equally apply to public outreach and communication. Blogs, at least in my case and that of others (e.g., Central American ABS Blog), serve as mediums for purposefully exploring and disseminating ABS research in real time. As the influence of Nature 2.0 expands into our conceptions of and relationships with the natural world, blogs will continue to grow in importance both as sources of novel conservation achievements, resources for advancing ABS, and educational tools for an eager public. This article is one step towards establishing blogs as a significant cog in the ABS toolkit.
I would like to thank the 2013 Student Media Grants Program from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Chair on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M University (TAMU) and Paso Pacífico for their invaluable logistic, moral, and financial support. Additional thanks go to the TAMU Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences, the Applied Biodiversity Science Program at TAMU, and Jim Gramann, Amanda Stronza, Jane Packard, Leslie Ruyle, Kim Williams-Guillén, Sarah Otterstrom, and Liza Gonzalez. Most importantly, I am indebted to my Nicaraguan friends (old and new) for their generous hospitality, innumerable thought-provoking and often moving discussions, eagerness to participate, and unfettered excitement about working together towards a common goal.
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