THE RACE: Reflections on Awareness

In an earlier blog, I described the mission of our biodiversity awareness program in the island primary schools here. We all participate but the group activities are coordinated by Roberta Ayres and assisted by our local colleagues from an NGO called STeP UP (founded by an old San Francisco friend of mine, Ned Seligman, who lives here). The classroom materials we use are designed each year by a committee at the California Academy of Sciences, headed by Roberta Ayres.  These materials are given to the students and teachers. We visit about 2000 students each year in pre-selected schools on both islands.

All of the images below are by our photographer Andrew Stanbridge, veteran of six Gulf of Guinea expeditions. I think they largely speak for themselves.

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Roberta (“Grande”) dos Santos, co-Director of STeP UP.

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Danqua (stripes) and Roberta on Sao Tome streets. Coastal waters poster distribution.

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Anita Rodrigues with Camilla, STeP UP office.

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Danny, Bob and Camilla, STeP UP office.

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Porto Real School, Principe Id.

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The coastal waters booklet, with S. Edgerton’s centerpage artwork.

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Dr. Maria Jeronimo, Roberta ” Pequena”Ayres and Bob, school presentation of posters

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Sean Edgerton’s centerfold in the booklet.

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And each fourth grader received a magnifier, with instructions on  use.

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Roberta Ayres is the coodinator of our biodiversity awareness education program.

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School yard of the largest primary school on Sao Tome, our traditional starting place.

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Ellen Swanborn-Von Hagen of Africa’s Eden joins us on Principe

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A familiar bar in Santo Antonio, Principe Island.

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Here’s the  PARTING SHOT:

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Andrew Stanbridge, our indomitable photographer, modeling Africa’s largest tree Principe Id.  GG IX.

PARTNERS

Our research and educational expeditions are supported by tax-deductable donations to the “California Academy of Sciences Gulf of Guinea Fund.”*  On the islands, we are grateful for ongoing governmental support, and especially to Arlindo de Ceita Carvalho, Director General, Victor Bonfim, and Salvador Sousa Pontes of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe for their continuing authorization to collect and export specimens for study, to Faustino Oliviera of the Department of Forestry, and to Ned Seligman, Roberta dos Santos and Quintino Quade of STePUP of Sao Tome, our “home away from home”.  GG XI has been funded in part by a generous grant from The William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation, and substantial donations from Rod C. M. Hall, Mr. and Mrs. Henri Lese, Mr. and Mrs. John L. Sullivan Jr., Mr. and Mrs. John Sears, and a heartening number of “Coolies”.  Once again we are deeply grateful for the support of the Omali Lodge (HBD-São Tomé) and Roça Belo Monte (Africa’s Eden-Príncipe) for both logistics and lodging, and to the Príncipe Trust for partial sponsorship of our ongoing primary school education program.

*California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94118
USA

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