Research aids rainforest conservation

Castanero pushing roof

Brazil nut harvesting is a critical, sustainable livelihood in Peru. Two Wake Forest seniors, Cate Berenato and Katherine Sinacore, spent four weeks there working with the Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) to determine which ACA programs are helping sustain both families and the ecosystem. The ACA provides Brazil nut harvesters with information on how to care for their trees and increase yield. Sinacore, a biology major, conducted research related to juvenile trees. An increase in juvenile Brazil nut trees is a good indication that the forest is rejuvenating and that the programs are succeeding. Berenato, an English major and environmental studies minor, conducted a survey on the sociological aspects of programs and whether programs that were good for the environment were also good for families. Their research has far-reaching implications for how to best manage forested areas at risk of being destroyed due to over logging and land clearing.

Call media relations to set up a time to interview Berenato or Sinacore by phone. The students return to campus August 20.

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