Keynote Presentation by WCIECA Member Pablo Garcia-Chevesich at V CISES Conference in Panama City, October 2010

easterislandDear Western Chapter and SOIL Fund committee members,

I would like to sincerely thank you for supporting my participation at V CISES in Panama City.

Thanks to your financial support, I had the honor to give one of the four key note presentations at the conference, where more than 200 professionals and IECA members from 16 countries attended. I spoke about our land reclamation project on Easter Island, beginning with a brief history of the island, from the first settlements through the disappearance of the ancient forests and their consequences on soil erosion and land productivity, leading to the collapse of an entire civilization. The site and species selection, followed by the experimental design and selected methods, were presented followed by a discussion regarding the relevance of this project to the local tribes and humanity in general and how this small project is the base for the acquisition of more funds. The presentation ended with acknowledgment of the Western Chapter of IECA and the SOIL Fund as well as several universities and volunteers who donated time and resources to the project, giving us the opportunity to change the history of the island’s land use.

As a scientist, I am used to giving public speeches and presentations to an unfamiliar audience in both English and Spanish languages. However, this one was by far one of the best I have ever given. I was able to keep the focus and interest of a large group during the entire presentation. Also, I got excellent questions from the public at the conclusion of the presentation, as well as during the remainder of the conference. People simply approached me over and over telling me how interesting the project was and how much they enjoyed the presentation.

Throughout the 4-day conference, I had the opportunity to meet presenters from several countries, as well as representatives from private companies. As a professor, this is an excellent opportunity to develop both teaching and research opportunities. Among the presentations that I attended, I particularly liked the ones dealing with bioengineering technologies and watershed management in general, such as those given by A. Dal Farra (Argentina), A. Martinez (Mexico), G. Mathews (Peru), M. Hermellin (Colombia), R. Madriz (Costa Rica), and A. Lister (Canada). I was also a mediator on a session during the conference. Furthermore, I finally met the leading committee of the Iberoamerican Chapter. We exchanged ideas and planned for the future. I am now on the Iberoamerican Chapter½s leading committee and I am hoping to host the next CICES in Chile, with the hope that you all can make it.

In addition to the above, I publically announced the donation of 50% of the profits from my “Procesos y control de la erosion” textbook to the Iberoamerican Chapter of the ICEA. As you probably know, I am about to publish such textbook in the English language as well and I intend to donate the same percentage to the Western Chapter of the IECA. This is my way to thank the IECA for giving me the chance to help the people of Easter Island.

Sincerely yours,

Pablo Garcia-Chevesich, Ph. D.,
Tucson, AZ

Combatting Soil Erosion on Easter Island Powerpoint Presentation

Download the full PowerPoint Presentation by clicking the link below.

easterisland.pptx | 28.6MB Microsoft PowerPoint Document

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