A Visit With Tom Gilbert: Champion for US Biosphere Regions

Tom Gilbert, National Park Service (retired) and first President of the George Wright Society, was instrumental in getting the biosphere reserve program established in the United States after its founding by UNESCO in 1971 and has remained a champion for US biosphere regions. Recently, Lisa McInnis (Chief of Resource Management, Great Smoky Mountains National Park), Jonathan Putnam (National Park Service Office of International Affairs), and David Reynolds (President, George Wright Society, Chair of USBN Agriculture Committee) enjoyed a visit with Tom in Pittman Center, Tennessee.

USGS Intern Brings Biosphere Background to Yellowstone

Margery Price, a Cascade Head Biosphere Region local, worked this past summer and fall with the U.S. Geological Survey expanding the accessibility of water chemistry data in Yellowstone National Park. Born and raised in Lincoln City, Oregon – a town contained within the Cascade Head Biosphere Region – Margery attended the University of Oregon and received her bachelor’s degree in Geology in 2022. In March 2021, Margery joined the inaugural Steering Committee of the US Biosphere Network Youth Board, serving as the group’s first secretary until January 2024.

First Workshop of the World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves in China

In a significant step towards advancing global conservation and sustainable development efforts in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, the First Workshop of the World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves (WNMBR) was held from September 18 to 22, 2023, in Dujiangyan, Sichuan, China. Hosted by UNESCO’s Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, the workshop saw active participation from more than 60 delegates representing mountain biosphere reserves across 17 countries, including the United States. Dr. Kelly L. Cerialo, the US Biosphere Network Coordinator and Co-Chair of the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Network, participated in the WNMBR workshop.  

A Note From USBN Leadership

Thanks to your continued engagement and support over the past year, the USBN has made significant strides in advancing our mission of fostering national and international connections among biosphere regions (BRs), facilitating their sharing of best practices, and supporting their work to connect people and nature. Read on for a short list of our network’s accomplishments from 2022-2023.

Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership Celebrates the “Biosphere in Your Backyard”

The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) selected the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Region to be the focus of its Conservation & Community interpretive theme in 2024. The CVNHP awarded $275,134 to support 10 projects that highlight, interpret, and support the goals of the Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Network (CABN) in 2024. 

Dr. Kelly L. Cerialo Appointed Coordinator for the U.S. Biosphere Network

The USBN Steering Committee and the Center for Large Landscape Conservation are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kelly L. Cerialo as the Coordinator for the US Biosphere Network (USBN). Dr. Cerialo, an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator in the Business and Hospitality Department at Paul Smith’s College, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this important role as the USBN enters its next phase of growth.

USBN Youth Board Welcomes New Steering Committee

On October 10, 2023, the US Biosphere Network’s (USBN) Youth Board elected a new Youth Board Steering Committee. The Youth Board has been strongly led by founding members Samuel Cuthell (Chair), Marissa Schorr (Vice-Chair), Graham Klag (Treasurer), and Margery Price (Secretary) since 2020. Through their efforts, there is a permanent Youth representative position on the USBN Steering Committee, an international internship program between the US and Canada, an Emerging Leaders workshop series, and Youth Board members from across the US and Puerto Rico. The new Youth Board Steering Committee brings fresh perspectives, renewed enthusiasm, and diverse expertise to the Youth Board. Each is an example of the drive, capacity, and value of Youth in our communities, organizations, and nation.

NAPECA Climate Interns Report on Results

The Climate Interns supported under the North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) grant are wrapping up their work to strengthen collaborations between Canadian and US biosphere regions. The project, in coordination with the Canadian Biosphere Reserve Association and the USBN,  supported interns in four US and Canadian biosphere regions. Manar Talab, a recent graduate of Princeton University, and Sara Constantineau, a recent graduate of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s (SUNY ESF) Landscape Architecture Master’s Program, advanced climate science and collaboration in the Obtawaing Biosphere Region (OBR) and Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Network (CABN), respectively.

USBN Youth Board of Directors Update

Since its founding in 2020, the USBN Youth Board of Directors has been led by its current Executive Committee of Marissa Schorr, Margery Price, Graham Klag, and Samuel Cuthell. The group has collectively worked to support the meaningful involvement of youth (18-35 years old) in the USBN. During their tenure, the Youth Board has welcomed in more than 30 members from across the United States and Puerto Rico, supported the development of the US-Canadian Biosphere Region internship program, increased youth participation in USBN subcommittees, and created a permanent Youth Board representative position on the USBN’s steering committee. As all good things come to an end, so too has the term of our current Executive Committee. It is now time for the next group of exceptional individuals to take the reins of the Youth Board of Directors.

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