Lecture on Feb. 13 to Kick Off U.Va.'s Panama Initiative

February 8, 2008 – The University of Virginia is hosting a lecture to kick off its Panama Initiative on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The initiative is a teaching-and-research collaboration between U.Va. and the City of Knowledge, a body of Panamanian academics, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and businesses. It aims to explore issues of public health, sustainability and climate change.

Wednesday’s lecture is titled “Sustainable Development in Panama, Gateway to the American Tropics.” It will feature Rodrigo Tarté, director of academics for the City of Knowledge, and Guillermo Castro, associate director of academics for the organization. The event will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Minor Hall room 125.

The director of the U.Va. Panama Initiative is Vivian Thomson, professor of environmental policy. The project is a joint effort of faculty in the Department of Environmental Sciences, the Environmental Thought and Practice program and the School of Medicine. President John T. Casteen III, Dr. Arthur Garson, executive vice president and provost and Leigh Grossman, vice provost for international affairs, are sponsoring the initiative.

As part of the project, students in the Environmental Thought and Practice program will study sustainability in Panama and travel to the country over spring break, March 1-9. Environmental sciences professor Jay Zeiman also will be researching the effectiveness of Panama mangroves in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

For more information, contact Vivian Thomson at (434) 924-3964 or at vet4y@virginia.edu.

By Catherine Conkle