Janet Ort, 2018 Educator Academy Scholar
I have been to the rainforest many times: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, and of course the Peruvian rainforest almost 20 times. These trips span over 40 years of age, experience, and hopefully wisdom. Each time there is a primal sense of connection. My senses are overwhelmed by sound, light, sights, aromas, and people that embody the wisdom of the ages. I am always struck by the strength and immense fragility that coexist: and our individual /collective responsibility to protect it. I have always wanted to participate in more active & in depth studies.
So, What did I learn, and continue to learn from the Rainforest? So much more than the trees, birds, monkeys, dolphins, fish, or the things that glow in the dark. I experienced scientific content in a multi dimensional way. I floated on the Napo RIver at night with a million million stars overhead. I got to learn with amazing instructors. I had conversations with famous authors in canoes and in hammocks. I stood in treetops surrounded by brights colors and sounds. I experienced the local conservation efforts of the Maijuna. I got to dream of long term projects the Save the Rainforest and support the local efforts of her peoples.
It is rare as an educator to be fully engaged with like minded professionals over an extended time. The Morpho Institute gathers outstanding professionals to facilitate thinking, doing, planning, collaborating, and meditating on science manifested all around us. We walked near the sky; we looked into the leaves, we saw creatures and organisms in the darkest dark; we spent hours learning from the Maijuna and each other.
The 2018 Amazon Educators Workshop Scholarship enabled me to reconnect to the Forest and her peoples. I once again hear the songs of the Amazonian rainforest; this time, amongst like minded people teachers and learners of all types and ages. Our adventures were individual, as an AP cohort, and a group. We have continued the connections made and are making plans for ongoing projects. We are all eager to learn and tell more stories of the forest and her people. We are eager to catalogue the diversity, the changes, and data. More than that, we are committed to using that data to help the students in our classes, the peoples of the forest, and the scientists continue to champaign its survival.