Belize, Rio Bravo CMA, Orange Walk District, 2010-2011
Mary Ann Studer, Faculty, Physical Science - This project will continue to develop the partnerships with Programme for Belize and indigenous and Mennonite agricultural communities on the periphery of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management area. The focus will be on assessing soil nutrient levels, compaction, and sustainable agriculture for subsistence farmers. The project will also continue compaction studies on selectively logged sites within the RBCMA to develop and assess the validity of correlations between rainforest regeneration and soil compaction. The project also plans to conduct a follow-up utilization of power study at San Carlos School related to the solar power project carried out in previous years.
MCMASTER ASSOCIATE FELLOW
Michelle Tabit, Faculty, History - This project focuses on providing logistical and scholar support to the learning community and possibly conducting a needs assessment with a focus on developing future projects for arts and humanities students in this region.
Allie Beck, Sophomore, Molecular Biology - This project will continue the ongoing community partner requested CPR, Heimlich and First Aid training in village schools. It will also conduct a needs assessment in the area of eye care.
Angie Burklo, Senior, Middle Childhood Education - This project will focus providing resources and training essential in teaching students about the solar power that now powers the San Carlos School. This request is in relation to the installation of solar panels at the school last year.
Brittany Heaton, Junior, Forensic Science - This project will focus on a survey of wells and waterways in the villages bordering the New River Lagoon for the presence of coliform bacteria, a potential biological hazard. Testing of water samples will be performed on-site and results will be collected, analyzed and distributed to community partners with recommendation for immediate remediation of any contaminated sources found.
Greg McNutt, Senior, Biology - This project has two focuses, the first is to utilize GPS to construct maps of the roads throughout the periphery of the Rio Bravo area that are currently unrecorded. The second is to map potential nesting sites of yellow-headed parrots in the savanna area of the Rio Bravo.
Richard Sherrer, Senior, Business Administration - This project will formulate a business plan and then begin fundraising to build teacher housing which would facilitate after school hour utilization of the school facility and tutoring. In addition this project will formulate a business plan to fund a volleyball area for San Carlos School to promote female athletics. These business plans will provide guidelines for fundraising and outline community need, value and budget.
Courtney Swabb, Junior, Integrated Social Studies - This project focuses on aiding the San Carlos and St. Paul's Bank Schools in developing more effective social studies instruction through improved resources and engaged instructional strategies. The scholar will work with teachers to implement lesson plans and materials effectively and model the use of the materials by teaching lessons within the schools.
Thomas Studer, Sophomore, Biology - This project will continue the ongoing water quality analysis in the New River lagoon and surrounding tributaries as well as local wells and cisterns. The tests will focus on pH, Nitrates, Ammonia, Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Phosphates and Dissolved Oxygen. The data gathered will contribute to the information being gathered by Programme for Belize to track water quality in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management area. A particular focus of this project will be precise monitoring of nitrate levels and providing information on the dangers of and possible remediation of high nitrates in drinking water.