New agreement would also see UPEI and SI co-host international symposia on climate change, biodiversity, and islands
The University of Prince Edward Island signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), a unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The MOU will see the two groups work together on publications; organize seminars, lectures, and symposia; and collaborate on teaching and training. As part of the agreement, UPEI will also host the SI’s database of international forest biodiversity.
The MOU was signed by all parties at a ceremony at the SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia.
“UPEI is very excited to establish a relationship with the renowned Smithsonian Institution,” said Dr. Abd-El-Aziz, President and Vice-Chancellor of UPEI. “This MOU will allow both institutions to work together on biological conservation and climate change with a goal of sharing this scientific knowledge broadly and, particularly, with our students.”
UPEI and SI will work together on a project which collects, stores, and maintains data from the international network of one-hectare forest biodiversity monitoring plots, established using methods developed by the Smithsonian Institution’s Monitoring and Assessing Biodiversity program (SI/MAB). This includes forest measurements from over 650 research plots in over 33 countries. The collection’s database will be housed at UPEI.
“The Smithsonian Institution recognizes the importance of collaboration in helping meet its goal of understanding and sustaining a biodiverse planet,” said Dr. Monfort, Director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. “Our work with the University of Prince Edward Island helps bring the significant issue of climate change to our understanding of protecting the world’s plants and animals.”
The collaboration will include seminars, lectures, and symposia to be held in Washington, DC and in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The ceremony to commence the MOU was held during a course led by Dr. Adam Fenech, Director of UPEI’s Climate Lab, entitled Applied Climate Change: Gaining Practical Skills for Climate Change Adaptation this week in Front Royal, Virginia.
“We look forward, through this MOU signing, to continuing our work with the Smithsonian Institution in co-hosting scientific studies and science symposia, co-writing scientific papers and books, and co-teaching courses and training sessions,” said Dr. Fenech.
The SCBI is an umbrella organization of the Smithsonian Institution’s global efforts to conserve biological species and train future generations of biological conservationists. The SCBI facilitates and promotes biological research programs based at Front Royal, at the National Zoo in Washington, and at field-research and training sites around the world.
Research Communications Officer
University of Prince Edward Island