On October 11-14, 2011 the second annual Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) was held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The conference is designed for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and early-career professionals pursuing the field of conservation science. The SCCS provides a unique opportunity for attendees to present their work before established leaders in science, policy, and management. In addition to formal presentations, the conference offers numerous opportunities to interact with senior-level conservation professionals at workshops, informal gatherings, and networking events.
At two separate sessions SCSCB intern Holly Robertson presented a poster on the Caribbean Birding Trail, which lays out the background and structure of the project she is helping to develop for her master’s degree program at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The title of the poster is Going Beyond the Beach: Sustainable Tourism in the Caribbean, referencing the work being done to develop the eco-tourism initiative called the Caribbean Birding Trail (CBT).
The Caribbean is identified as the most tourism-dependent region in the world and the poster provides an overview of the related conservation issues. The industry has become dominated by all-inclusive resorts and cruise ships; tourism that trends around “sun and sand.” Given the international ownership of these businesses, however, a very small percentage of these tourism dollars remain in the local communities. In addition, mass tourism of this kind strain island resources and degrade coastlines and fragile marine ecosystems. The CBT is being developed to combat these adverse effects by building capacity within local communities to offer a more sustainable tourism product, one centered around the islands’ natural and cultural resources. Click on the image below for better detail of the poster.