2017 Affiliates and Scholars Program

///2017 Affiliates and Scholars Program

I. INTRODUCTION

Wake Forest University and the Centro de Innovación Científica Amazónica (CINCIA) have created the Affiliates Program which allows individuals to carry out research and scientific innovation in Madre de Dios.

CINCIA affiliates and fellows:

  • Participate in research on subjects that have not been scientifically studied.
  • Make use of logistical and operational support provided by a local institution with strong links in the region.
  • Join a solid scientific community and receive the advice of worldwide specialists.
  • Author and/or co-author of scientific publications and dissemination of local, national and international scope.

II. SCOPE OF THE SCHOLARSHIP

Four affiliate scholarships and thirteen training grants will be funded during the semester between April – September of 2017 in the different research topics addressed by CINCIA in the Laberinto, Tambopata, and Inambari districts (see Section IV). The scholarships do not cover national or international transportation, nor travel expenses in the city of Puerto Maldonado, but the scholarships cover all the expenses in the field (transportation, accommodation, food, materials, equipment, and supplies for research work).

Applicants must send to the email cinciaconvocatoria@gmail.com:

  • Application form, resume, a letter of recommendation (thesis adviser or corresponding authority), and a letter of intention duly labeled :
    • Applicant’s name_Resume
    • Applicant’s name_LetterofRecommendation
    • Applicant’s name_LetterofIntention
    • Applicant’s name_Application
  • Indicate “Subject Affiliated Scholarship” or “Training Grant” and specify the program of interest (Bio-carbon, Reforestation, Mercury, or Hydrobiology)

Applications can be submitted until April 30, 2017. Individuals who do not comply with the applications instructions will be automatically disqualified from the process.

III. REQUIREMENTS

Affiliate Scholarship

  • Be enrolled in a Masters or Doctorate program.
  • Have experience in publishing scientific articles in indexed journals.
  • Be able to carry out fieldwork in Madre de Dios.
  • Mastery of both Spanish and English languages.

Training Scholarship

  • Be a professional of a higher educational institution, a recent graduate of a university, or a professional with a career related to CINCIA.
  • Mastery of both Spanish and English languages.

IV. RESEARCH TOPICS

Bio-carbon. Mining tailings have contaminated vast areas in Madre de Dios and other Amazonian regions which have deteriorated soil and water quality and greatly reduced vegetation cover. Recent evidence has shown the potential of bio-carbon as a remediation tool in mining tailings as a way to increase nutrients and water retention capabilities, improve acidity, and stimulate diversity and microbial functions of soil. In this regard, CINCIA seeks to: 1) know the properties of biochar produced from different sources of raw material available in Madre de Dios, and 2) evaluate the effect of its application on improving soil properties and reforestation efforts.

Experimental Reforestation. Deforestation by gold mining is expanding rapidly in the Amazon basin. In Madre de Dios, gold mining expands at a rate of over 6,000 ha/year which is more forest lost due to activities such as cattle ranching, agriculture, and logging. As a result, many areas are left degraded and abandoned without hope of natural regeneration. In this context, CINCIA seeks to explore: 1) which native or exotic forest species could successfully take root in areas degraded by mining, and 2) which rehabilitation and restoration models are most appropriate for the various socio-environmental contexts in Madre de Dios.

Mercury and Environmental Health. Madre de Dios is one of the most biodiverse places in the world; however, threats from mercury pollution are a major concern for the local, national, and international community. Additionally, there is not a systematic approach to evaluating mercury distribution levels in Madre de Dios. Therefore, CINCIA seeks to understand: 1) mercury contamination levels through time and space in Madre de Dios, 2) bio-indicators to systematically evaluate mercury exposure in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, 3) the effects of remediation and reforestation on mercury in the affected areas, 4) the creation of eco-toxicological tests to measure bio-availability of mercury in the environment, and 5) the risk mercury poses to human health.

Hydrobiology. Despite its importance, the study of aquatic environments are often overlooked or not taken into in account for environmental inventories or conservation plans. Traditionally, abiotic environmental parameters were used to describe the condition of water bodies. In this sense, CINCIA seeks to establish a monitoring system in ponds created by the activities of gold mining in the Madre de Dios basin. The work will be carried out in several districts analyzing the correlations between the age of the well, the type of mining (suction pumps or heavy machinery), and the influence of rivers or streams in the environment.

V. SCHEDULE

  • Launch of the call: April 10, 2017
  • Receipt of documentation: Until April 30, 2017
  • Assessment of files: Until May 4, 2017
  • Publication of eligible applicants: May 4, 2017
  • Personal interview: May 5 or 6, 2017
  • Publication of results: May 8, 2017

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