Canadian Manufacturing

Alcoa teams with enviro group to study eco-problems

The three week-long expeditions in Canada, Brazil and China include world-class research on climate change, carbon sequestration, and other ecosystem services.

NEW YORK—Alcoa is sending 27 employees to to research environmental challenges in Canada, Brazil and China.

The work stems from a partnership between the Alcoa Foundation and Earthwatch Institute, an environmental organization that promotes the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.

“Our long-term partnership with Earthwatch Institute strategically combines two Alcoa priorities: environmental excellence and employee engagement,” said Tricia Napor, Principal Manager for Environmental Programs, Alcoa Foundation. “This program is a great opportunity to reward employees who have an interest in the environment and equip them with knowledge, a network and support from leadership to become true environmental ambassadors in the company and their communities.”

The three week-long expeditions to the Arctic’s edge in Canada, Guyrá Farm in Brazil and Dinghushan National Nature Reserve in China include world-class research on climate change, carbon sequestration, and other ecosystem services.

The data is collected using an assortment of techniques, from the identification of birds collected in mist nets in Brazil’s tropical forest to measuring greenhouse gases in the Arctic permafrost. The expeditions are:

Climate Change at Canada’s Arctic Edge: Gathering data on the impacts of melting permafrost and the shift of trees in northern ecosystems, which demonstrates significant changes to a fragile ecosystem.

Conserving Brazil’s Atlantic Forest: Understanding the response of tropical rainforests to various human pressures, including how those pressures change species composition and structure, and how they alter the forests’ contributions to the ecosystem.

Climate Change on China’s Dinghushan Forest: Monitoring the structure and fruiting phrenology of mushrooms and understanding the change of mushroom biodiversity as it relates to changes in climate.

Upon returning home from the expeditions, the Fellows will lead sustainability action plans at work and in their communities.

“We are delighted to be a part of Alcoa’s pioneering professional development program,” said Larry Mason, CEO of Earthwatch Institute. “From daily life, to community outreach, to business practices, we are thrilled that our partnership with Alcoa Foundation helps engage a diverse array of employees in so many aspects of sustainability.”

Meet the 2013 Alcoa Earthwatch Fellows, and follow the blog.

Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $460 million.

Founded in 1971, Earthwatch is an international environmental organization whose mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education.

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