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10-02-2015

Clarkson University Professor Speaks About Wetland Restoration & Biodiversity at Mesoamerican Conference

Clarkson University Professor and Chair of Biology Tom Langen shared his expertise on wetland restoration and biodiversity at the 19th Annual Conference of the Mesoamerican Society of Biology & Conservation, this summer.

Tom LangenHosted by the Juarez Autonomous University of Tabasco in Mexico, the conference welcomed about 500 conservation biologists, wildlife managers, government agency representatives and students from North and South America and the Caribbean.

Langen, who delivered his plenary talk, "Evaluation of Wetland Restoration Programs in Agricultural Landscapes," in Spanish, said the research that Clarkson does in the St. Lawrence Valley and the Great Lakes region on wetland loss and potential for restoration is similar to the research on problems faced in Mesoamerica and Mexico.

"There is very rapid development and land use change as agriculture intensifies and other development occurs, and a lot of the same kinds of things that cause wetlands to be lost in the United States are occurring in Mesoamerica," he said.

Langen also was invited to speak in an organized symposium on mitigating environmental impacts of infrastructure. His talk, "We Need to Include Animal Behavior in Road Ecology: Examples from Aquatic Turtles," examined ways to design roads and other infrastructure to reduce impact on wildlife and the environment.

"It's clear that Mesoamerican scientists know that wetlands supply lots of benefits to people, such as maintaining biodiversity, supplying water and improving water quality," he said. "They recognize that and they're looking for ways to conserve the wetlands they have and to restore wetlands where they've been lost."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/tlangen-mesoamerica.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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