View this email in your browser
Finish out the year strong with a look back at what happened across the network this fall – and throughout the year!

Project Highlights

Recap of RappWLS
"The Rappahannock River is one of the Chesapeake Bay’s largest tributaries with a watershed region extending approximately 195 miles from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west to the Chesapeake Bay in the east. As it bends through diverse textures of forests, agricultural fields, and city suburbs, the river contributes significant ecological, economic, and cultural value to communities throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. 
Rappahannock Working Land and Seascapes is a subproject of the Chesapeake Working Land and Seascapes Initiative that develops scientific research and conservation strategies to support the many lives who dwell within this land-to-sea interface. Our team of Smithsonian marine and terrestrial ecologists is synthesizing long-term datasets from scientific and public records to investigate the impacts of changing land and river use on biodiversity and ecosystem services."

Learn more about what RappWLS accomplished this year in this article from Caitlyn Dittmeier, Working Land and Seascapes Outreach and Communications Intern! After receiving degrees in Biology and English, she obtained her Masters in English from Villanova University in 2021. Bridging her long-held interests in writing and wildlife conservation, Caitlyn is excited to advance her career in science communications through her work at the Smithsonian.

Pilot Project Launches in Cañete River Watershed

Building on 30 years of experience and engaging a recently developed Theory of Change for Smithsonian research and conservation in Peru, WLS is supporting the 'Cañete River Watershed (CRW): From Ridge to Reef' pilot project. The CRW Pilot seeks to understand the impacts of conservation interventions and land use on biodiversity, water security, and human well-being from the headwaters to the ocean. The project will engage stakeholders to support co-development of improved practices, adapt interventions based on the best available data, and promote scaling up interventions across the CRW.
We are excited to announce that Jerónimo Chiarella will be leading social engagement strategy development and implementation to support the CRW project. Jerónimo is a Lima-based geographer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú with a broad academic background in environment, territory, public policy and decentralization issues. He has worked for various private and public institutions in Peru – most recently, as the lead Coordinator of the MERESE-FIDA Project, a payment for ecosystem services project in high Andean ecosystems. 
Local Communities Visit Agua Salud in Panama
Community representatives from the Ngäbe-Buglé Comarca visited Agua Salud as part of discussions on setting up research and demonstration plots for testing different strategies to sequester carbon and improve income generation.
A Delicious Solution for Coral Reefs in Mexico
Encouraged by the results of a pilot project to measure the efficacy and viability of using Caribbean king crab to increase herbivory on reefs, HRI and INAPESCA set out to explore the potential of small-scale, low-intensity aquaculture to to produce herbivorous crabs that enhance coral reef restoration efforts for a more holistic approach.

These crabs are excellent candidates for aquaculture, and while much remains to be perfected, the project has promisingly managed to close the crab's reproduction cycle in just over a year. Now, the team is carrying out a holistic restoration plan in Puerto Morelos’ Reefs National Park by planting branched corals and captive-reared king crabs from different sizes on the Ojo de Agua Reef to assess the optimum growth for restoration purposes.

Social Science Corner

We’re excited to continue working with social scientists to better understand the human dimensions of conservation. We look forward to better integrating social science within our approach, starting with the topics discussed in Nathan Bennet's report on our progress and future recommendations.

Media Spotlights

Looking Forward

  • Discover the beauty and value of the 'Orchids of Palau' in our upcoming short film with Smithsonian Global 🇵🇼
  • In Summer 2022, join us on the National Mall for the Earth Optimism x Folklife Festival  🥳 Stay tuned for opportunities to get involved!
Copyright © Smithsonian Working Land and Seascapes, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.