This May, David Skole, Forestry Professor at Michigan State University, taught the short course, “Carbon, Climate and Livelihoods in Tropical Agro-Forestry Systems” at EARTH University in collaboration with EARTH Professor Daniel Herrera.
Professor Skole has worked on tropical forests and the global carbon cycle for more than 25 years, and he focuses primarily on the humid tropics of Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. He played a key role in creating the first numerical carbon accounting model and has led efforts to incorporate satellite-based remote sensing into carbon accounting models in the arena of carbon policy. In 2007, he was formally commended for his research as a member of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
The course began on EARTH’s Guácimo campus, where 11 students from the University of Florida, the University of Missouri, Colorado State University, Michigan State University and North Carolina A & T State University learned about the global carbon cycle, carbon management in forests and farms, and measuring carbon hands-on in the University’s forest reserve. As part of the program, they also took part in the “Work Experience” course with EARTH students. From the Guácimo campus, they continued on to La Selva Biological Lab, Tortuguero National Park, Monteverde and other sites to learn about other models of conservation. The students will spend the first week in June at the EARTH-La-Flor campus with Professor Herrera, studying alternative energy and production systems.
As the class has progressed, Professor Skole remarks that the students realized how much more they had to learn about solving ecological problems, which deepened their sense of discovery. “They’ve really loved being at EARTH,” Professor Skole affirmed, adding that he looks forward to teaching the course again next year