The project is divided into two phases. The first phase includes a school, community center, and a field station while the second phase includes living facilities for the teacher and researchers.
More extensive information about the logistics of the program may be found here: http://sites.google. com/site/pantanalcer/home
The school is for primary and secondary education but it is also meant to serve the community, at large. This includes a literacy program for adults and workshops open to the public which provide additional education about the environment and sustainable development. The curriculum would be equivalent to that in Poconé, and the facility would be staffed by trained locals. The government has agreed to pay the salary for the educator who will live on site and transportation has been arranged to take children to and from school every day.
Part of the work of summer 2010 included a census to survey and document families who would be interested in using the school the following spring. The data was crucial in getting funding and approval from the Brazilian government. In accordance to the requirements by the Brazilian Secretary of Education, a GPS was used to mark the locations of families on the river, but names, birthdays, education levels, and literacy of parents was also documented.
top to bottom: family along the river; signing paperwork required by Brazilian government; typical house
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a ranking of "highest priority" for conservation action, potential areas for research include ecology, zoology, biology, biodiversity, conservation and sustainable development. As of now there are no such facilities in this area. As is typical with many conservation hot spot sites today, researchers set up temporary mobile stations and have unreliable access to power, office space, food, restrooms and other basic amenities.
Joining the school with a university-level field station would provide an opportunity to do an in-depth study of the Pantanal while promoting sustainable development in the region. Professors and graduate students in this field of study would be able to conduct extended research in this vibrant wetland. Additionally, the joint facility could function as a study abroad destination for undergraduates interested in ecology, zoology, environmental studies and other related fields. To further the goal of sustainability, a solar power system would be built for the joint school and field station. The facility would offer a confluence of education, conservation, and clean energy, which could help solve a host of ecological problems as well as sustain the community.
top to bottom: landscape at day, landscape at night, lesser kiskadee