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Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Tuyisenge, Marie-Fidele [1], Eckardt, Winnie [2], Callaghan, James [3], Havey, Liz [3], DeVore, Melanie [4].

Effectiveness of knowledge, experience, and cultural exchange between African and US biology students.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI), a non-profit NGO active in gorilla conservation in Rwanda since 1967, provides scientific capacity building to Biology students from various Rwandan universities in collaboration with national and international partners including researchers from the United States (US). With the goal of shaping the next generation of African conservationists, DFGFI provides annual field and in-class courses in field techniques, data analysis, scientific writing and presenting to students studying Botany, Zoology and Conservation at the University of Rwanda (UR). In addition, DFGF selects 10-12 UR Biology Bachelor students yearly to conduct their final research project fully funded and co-supervised by its researchers and partners. To promote science capacity building in Africa and research conducted by young African conservationists in their countries, we want to integrate a knowledge, experience, and cultural exchange not only between international researchers and Rwandan students, but also between these trained Rwandan students and US students. In 2021, DFGF and Georgia College and State University (GCSU) piloted a knowledge, experience, and cultural exchange between Rwandan students who participated in DFGFI’s science capacity building program and US undergraduate students through lectures given by students across institutions. One of the Rwandan graduate students who conducted and published her academic research through DFGF’s program, shared her research methods and findings, and the resulting publication, with US students in an upper division plant anatomy course. This served as a pilot experience for establishing an entire course entitled “The Ten Plants that Changed the World” offered by Georgia College in May 2021. We explore ways to evaluate the effectiveness of this knowledge, experience, and cultural exchange between Rwandan and US students. We describe our plan for the knowledge, experience, and cultural exchange program between Rwandan and US students, the outcomes from these two pilot events and discuss the impact of this initiative in enhancing capacity building in Africa and US. The platform for this exchange will be the Border-Free Georgia College initiative, established and directed by the GC International Education Center. This unique initiative provides access to international experiences and opportunities to all by removing barriers to participation, whether actual or perceived.

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1 - 105, Rwanda, H, 105, Rwanda
2 - The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, Musanze, Rwanda
3 - Georgia College and State University, International Education Center, Milledgeville, GA, 31061, USA
4 - Georgia College & State University, Biological And Environmental Sciences, Campus Box 081, Milledgeville, GA, 31061, United States

botany education.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P2, Education and Outreach Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P2EO005
Abstract ID:417
Candidate for Awards:None

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