Journey to Brazil
The Brazil expedition takes place at the Regional Climate Center in Rio Cachoeira Natural Reserve. The reserve is situated in the Guaraqueçaba Environmental Protection Area (EPA), which comprises over three hundred thousand hectares of the best preserved, continuous Atlantic Forest. The area includes estuaries, islands, mangroves, coastal resting woodlands, lowland forests, moist montane forests and upper montane forests. The nearest town of Antonina is 26 km from the Regional Climate Center.
The Rio Cachoeira Reserve is in a rural and isolated area. This reserve harbors 810 identified species of plants, 407 species of birds, 61 species of fish and several species of mammals. Some of these mammals are threatened by extinction, including the otter, ocelot and jaguar. Endangered plant species include the palm Euterpe edulis, a keystone forest species whose populations are decreasing due to over-harvesting.
The Brazil team will make an important contribution to the data collection at the Regional Climate Center. The field research entails a methodical effort that requires intense repetitive labor to collect data needed for scientific analysis. They will learn about the field techniques required to generate this important information and will work collaboratively as a team in the field to gather data for the research project.
Meet the Fellows
Name: Todd Bell
Alcoa Branch: WA Mining – Huntly Minesite
Job Title: Mine Environmental Scientist
I am looking forward to meeting and sharing experiences with the other Alcoa Earthwatch Fellows. There is a good mix of people on my team, so it will be good to learn more about what sustainability means to them and find out more about their countries. I want to learn more about sustainability and the effects of climate change, so I can share the knowledge with my family, friends and co-workers. Hopefully, the new skills and information I gain from my expedition will encourage others to become more sustainable at work and at home.
Name: Tommy Rogers
Alcoa Branch: Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, GA USA
Job Title: ABS and Quality Processes Coordinator
I am looking forward to the expedition experience. Since it has been quite hot in Georgia, USA (close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit) I am excited to be traveling to a rainforest with late winter temperatures. I can hardly wait to get my feet on the ground and see new plants, animals and terrain. Tree harvesting is at an all time high in the southeastern USA. It’s most disturbing to see century old cypress swamps being clear cut, knowing that a large percentage of these trees will be ground up and used for garden mulch. I’m thankful to Earthwatch and Alcoa Foundation for this learning opportunity centered on sustainability.
Name: Alba García Patallo
Alcoa Branch: Europe Primary Aluminum
Job Title: Shipping Factor
It’s a huge privilege to participate in the Earthwatch fellowship. I expect this expedition to be a very enriching personal and professional experience. I hope to learn a lot about environmental issues and, above all, how to prevent and help solve them. I've always loved nature and I think this project is a great opportunity to really get in touch with it. I also believe that all of us are responsible for taking care of the environment.
Name: Lu Zhao
Alcoa Branch: Alcoa Asia Pacific
Job Title: Project Manager, Corporate Development
This Earthwatch Fellowship is a unique and meaningful program that will enhance me both professionally and personally. Environmental excellence is one of our company’s highest priorities. I want to learn how to reduce negative impacts on the environment during production processes and in my daily life. I am also looking forward to knowing more about sustainability through field work. I look forward to sharing interesting stories that will inspire more friends to love our Earth. It is exciting that the program will be held in Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest. I believe this will make me more globally-oriented.
Name: Ellen Acioli
Alcoa Branch: Juruti Mine
Job Title: Environment Control Analyst
I have always been interested in living in harmony with the environment. That is why I majored in biology. I want to learn more about sustainable practices, climate change and forests, which will enhance my academic knowledge. I hope to better understand Alcoa’s sustainability practices and evaluate what can be done to develop sustainable practices in my local community.
Name: Reinaldo Augusto Zago
Alcoa Branch: Santo André Utinga
Job Title: Medical Worker
This expedition will plant the seeds of sustainability in all of our lives. It will be our responsibility to use our skills to turn those seeds into trees that bear fruit. The expedition will be the cornerstone of many sustainability projects for us, our workplaces, and the communities in which we live.
Name: Viviane Nahon Penna
Alcoa Branch: Juruti
Job Title: Sustainability Analyst
Participating in this program will certainly enhance my skills and my understanding of social and environmental issues. It will allow me to engage in these issues more deeply and enable me to share my learning with my coworkers and my community.
Name: Edson dos Santos de Souza
Alcoa Branch: Sorocaba - Sao Paulo
Job Title: Toolmaker
I am very happy to be chosen as an Earthwatch Fellow. I want to learn more about sustainability to be a multiplier of knowledge about preserving the environment. I hope to learn more about different people and cultures, which will help me to grow as a human being. Despite not working in the environmental area, I feel responsible for knowing about sustainability. I am very proud to have the opportunity to participate in this grand project. I know that the road is long and what I will learn in these days is only the beginning of this journey. I hope to contribute to the project and be worthy of the trust placed in me by Alcoa, my coworkers and family. I'm sure the Alcoa Earthwatch Fellowship will change my life forever.