Yahaira Urbina (2012)
Alumni Diploma Students
I am from Orange Walk, a town in northern Belize. In 2010, I obtained a BSc in Natural Resources Management from the University of Belize. Soon after, I worked as a research assistant for the Panthera Foundation conducting interviews on jaguar distribution in the Central Belize Corridor (CBC). I also volunteered for the Belize Jaguar Project, assisting in the annual camera trapping surveys at the La Milpa and Mountain Pine Ridge Reserves, and radio-tracking pacas, kinkajous and coatimundis for the CBC project.
During my studies and subsequent fieldwork, I developed an interest in the public’s perspective on wildlife. In 2011, I secured funding for a national survey on the Belizeans level of understanding of wildlife laws and wildlife conflicts. The project’s aim is to identify areas in Belize where awareness of wildlife regulations are low, in order to explicitly include them in a future national campaign.
I believe that the diploma course will allow me to develop and strengthen skills such as GIS, data analysis and scientific writing. It will also expose me to a new network of dedicated wildlife researchers, from who I believe I can learn about the global challenges to conservation and the latest developments.
- Occupancy patterns of jaguar (Panthera onca) puma (Puma concolor) and ocelot (Leopardus paradalis) in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Belize
- Levels of wildlife law awareness and hunting in Belize