Archipelagos, Institute for Marine Conservation has recently conducted working visits at many of the most prominent US universities. The visits resulted in serious plans for project partnerships and collaborations, and mark important developments in the future of research and education on the natural wealth of the Greek seas and islands. The list of universities visited includes: Yale University, Harvard University, Columbia University, Princeton University, New York University, Rutgers and George Mason University. 

Archipelagos delivered presentations at these universities and met individually with departments, administrative members, faculty and students to discuss the pressing issues for conservation of the Greek Seas and Islands and how the U.S. Universities could get more involved in Archipelagos’ conservation work and efforts. The visits, which drew in overwhelming interest, attracted a wide variety of experts and scientists, specializing in fields such as Environmental Conservation, Biology, Marine Conservation, Renewable Energy, Law and Policy, Computer Science, Greek studies etc.

Archipelagos will now move the collaborations forward by developing a framework that will integrate research for the protection of biodiversity in the Greek seas and islands with expertise and research activities at the above universities. This way, Archipelagos can make tremendous advancements in conservation for the Greek Seas and Islands, utilizing the specializations and know-how of distinguished scientists, as well as other related, innovative technologies in the research and actions that contribute to the substantial protection of the rare natural wealth of the Greek seas.

You will find here below some partnership examples, already running, with the following academic institutions:

  • Environmental Protection Clinic of the Yale University Law School. This partnership has been running for a year now and mainly concerns the area of creative cooperation in the field of environmental law and the issues related to the protection of the Greek seas’ biodiversity. During the meetings, it was decided to further expand this partnership.
  • Environmental Protection Clinic of Columbia University Law School. This partnerhsip has also been running for over a year now and concerns law and policy issues related to conservation work for the Greek seas and islands.
  • In-house placements at Archipelagos by Princeton University. This partnership placed Princeton students, under the supervision of Princeton faculty, at Archipelagos’ research bases to help carry out important conservation work.
  • Faculty of Computer Science of Texas at Arlington University, «Demokritos» and Aegean University. The optimization of informatics applications in the research for the protection of marine and land ecosystems completes the creation of innovative software, useful to the environmental research worldwide.

Moreover, the partnership at an educational level has been officially put in place, with the expansion of the multidisciplinary studying programs “study abroad”, “field courses” and the post-graduate research organized during these last years by ARCHIPELAGOS on the Aegean sea islands, aiming at introducing the Greek seas in the international map of areas where students and young scientists are trained on the applied environmental research. This effort has been sustained by the Aegean University, “Demokritos” and by the local insular communities that firmly support actions developed by ARCHIPELAGOS for a decade now and which aim at preserving our rare natural heritage.

Parallel to the meetings with university entities, Anastasia Miliou (Marine biologist, Coordinator of the Protection actions) and Charlene Caprio (Legal Councel to Archipelagos) also participated in:

– a working group meeting and lecture with the Environmental Committee of the Bar Association of New York,
– a working group meeting in the Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC, (Committee of Natural Resources Defense),
– a working group meeting in the press office of the permanent representation of Greece in the United Nations.
– a special event organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York in order to inform the Greek community on the above partnerships put in place and on the ways the Greek community may contribute to the Archipelago action for sustaining and protecting the Greek nature.

In Greece we rather ignore the fact that the rarity, which is typical of the Greek biodiversity, is a point of reference and a pole of attraction to the international scientific community. This unique comparative advantage compared to the other European countries may set, amidst the economic crisis, the foundations for sustainable development that will begin from defending our natural resources and expand to the desired outcome.

Having as a departure point the island of Samos and the “Maniakio” building, as a venue housing the International Center for Studies and Research, we open a new page in the field of applied education in the environmental sciences and the multidisciplinary dialog, combining the academic experience of University scientists from multiple foreign universities, almost from all Continents of the planet, with the environmental protection actions, implemented for the last ten years in the Aegean sea by ARCHIPELAGO

The center and the implementation field of the planned educational and research actions, will be the insular communities, where ARCHIPELAGOS is already active (Samos, Ikaria, Fournoi, Patmos, but also the wider Aegean area), which are automatically included in the world map with the most significant destinations for the international scientific community for the development of scientific- educational activities related to the environment and sustainable development