ISIS Belize signs agreement with the Belize Botanic Gardens

The Institute of Sustainable International Studies Belize (ISIS) and the Belize Botanic Gardens (BBG) have signed an Agreement of Collaboration. The two organizations will work together to provide academic courses, field programs, service-learning opportunities, research and promotion of the services of the Botanic Gardens.

ISIS Belize provides academic and logistical support for educational travel groups as well as offering courses in botany, marine biology, anthropology, indigenous studies, and a variety of other areas. The Belize Botanic Gardens spread over 45 acres of native and exotic plants, and focus on encouraging sustainable agriculture, maintaining conservation collections and engaging in conservation education.

The joint program begins in July 2011 with a course on tropical horticulture, taught by the BBG Garden Director Jon Pixler, a graduate of the Texas A&M horticulture program. Jon Pixler commented, “This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the holdings of the Belize Botanic Gardens and to expand our educational offerings to international students.”

This is followed by a course that focuses on natural toxins in the flora and fauna of Belize, taught by Michelle North, of Queen’s University, Canada. Students will spend a week at the Belize Botanic Gardens studying plant, food and medicinal pharmacology & toxicology. Michelle North explained that the Belize Botanic Gardens is an ideal site for her course, because of the range of plants available in one location. “This is truly a living lab.”