Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Expanding the Body of Work to Educate the World on a Unique Agricultural Aid

Butterfly Pavilion has officially signed off on a partnership with Colorado State University to enhance the world’s knowhow on invertebrates. Under the agreed terms, Butterfly Pavilion will work alongside three of CSU’s colleges in Agricultural Sciences, Natural Sciences, and the Warner College of Natural Resources to scale up research, conservation and management of invertebrate species, The findings generated through this collaboration will be shared with aspiring biologists, ecologists, agriculturalists and conservationists working globally to help create more awareness and support for invertebrates. To give you a lowdown on invertebrates, they exist on every continent and every ocean, making up 97 percent of all animal species. The core part of their utility involves pollinating crops, recycling waste, decomposing dead material, building healthy soil, and improving water quality. Furthermore, they make nutrients available to plants, control pest populations, and protect crops. In total, these Invertebrate pollinators are responsible for over $40 billion of agriculture production in Colorado, and a half trillion dollars across the globe. This is despite the fact that, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), only less than one percent of all known invertebrate species have been adequately evaluated so far. Keeping that in mind, both Butterfly Pavilion and CSU will improve the quantity and quality of conservation, management, and research projects conducted in this context. On top of that, the stated partnership should also prove helpful when the agenda is to increase educational opportunities for students at CSU  internships, jointly conducted research, conservation projects, and other conservation education opportunities. Rounding up highlights is the promise of specific pathways and inspiration for K-12 students to achieve higher education with colleges in CSU, and at the same time, bolster awareness of the collaborative research and educational work, especially among Butterfly Pavilion guests and stakeholders.

“In this groundbreaking partnership between CSU and Butterfly Pavilion, we’re unlocking a world of boundless opportunities for both current and future students,” said Shartrina White, vice president of Education at Butterfly Pavilion. “Together, we’re not merely pushing the boundaries of invertebrate research, conservation, and education – we’re igniting a spark of inspiration that will fuel future generations.

But what makes each partner an ideal candidate for such an effort? Well, in Butterfly Pavilion’s case, the answer stems from its ability to provide unique hands-on learning experiences using exhibits and educational programs, conduct new research that sets the standard for zoos across the country, and build innovative solutions for species and habitat conservation in countries around the world.

The credentials for CSU, though, are put by a recent feat of it, a feat where the university reached $498.1 million in sponsored project expenditures over the course of 2023. This marked a 62% increase in funding from last decade, along with expanded impact and discovery across all eight colleges. To understand CSU’s future prospect in the given area, we can also take into account how it presently has more than 100 research centers.

“As a professor and researcher at CSU, I am very excited for this partnership. Butterfly Pavilion does great work and is an amazing venue where CSU entomologists can communicate their research to large audiences. It is also a fabulous place for our students to gain hands-on experience with live invertebrates through volunteering and paid internships,” said Marek Borowiec, assistant professor of Agricultural Biology at Colorado State University.