Professional Women in Environmental Sciences and Sustainability

Event Start Date: February 14, 2017 12:45 PM
Event End Date: February 14, 2017 1:45 PM

Opportunities and Challenges in Latin America - Reflections from a Series of Workshops

by Cristina Nuñez Godoy & Marcela Marquez Garcia

Working Group - Southern Cone Conservation Leadership Initiative, UF



Attracting and supporting women in leadership roles in sustainability and environmental sciences is a necessary step to finding solutions to many of the challenges facing society today. In Spring 2015, we took an important step in this effort by bringing together more than 30 women, most of them from Latin America, in an innovative workshop held at UF. We recognized numerous instances for women to share their professional and research experiences, but only a few where they can take a moment to reflect on their own experiences as women. Thus, we decided to replicate the experience in Latin America last Fall 2016, organizing the II and III workshops in Ecuador and Argentina. These workshops provided a safe and friendly space for sharing and examining gender-specific issues at work. Additionally, the workshops environment and structure fostered connections among participants, promoting cross-field and cross-career-stage interactions. Nowadays, the participants of these two workshops are working to build a collaborative network that empowers and strengthens women's impacts in Latin American countries. In this Tropilunch we'll share the results of the workshops and reflections about the process.


The Southern Cone Conservation Leadership Initiative is an interdisciplinary initiative of the TCD Program, which organized the first women scholar workshop at the University of Florida in Spring 2015.

Cristina is a first year PhD student in the SNRE program. She is interested in conducting research that intersects biodiversity conservation and economic development. She obtained her BA in Business Administration from the National University of Salta and an MSc in Interdisciplinary Ecology with a concentration in Food and Resources Economics at UF and certificates in Latin American Studies and Tropical Conservation and Development. Her research explores the willingness and challenges associated with enrollment in a Payment for Ecosystem Services program and identify effective policy mechanisms in the Argentine Chaco Forest.

Marcela is a PhD candidate (graduating this semester) in the SNRE program. She has a BS in Environmental Sciences and a MS in Ecology from Universidad de Chile. Her doctoral dissertation aimed to identify the individual and institutional factors that explain the adoption of conservation practices among Chilean wineries, and evaluate the effectiveness of educational interventions in fostering pro-environmental agricultural behaviors in the Mediterranean ecoregion. Upon graduation, Marcela envisions herself as a bridge between social and biophysical sciences, building on her interdisciplinary background to catalyze collaboration between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to ensure real-world impact in the southern cone of South America.