Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Leadership lived: Graduate student helps Emiquon earn international distinction

Environmental Sciences graduate student Danny Rosenkranz uses the word “fantastic” to describe the collaborative education he’s received at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The Georgia-native was approached by UIS Biology Professor and Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon Director Michael Lemke with an opportunity to help the Emiquon Complex, a 14,000 acre wetlands preserve and wildlife refuge in Fulton County, Ill, gain international recognition.

Rosenkranz was determined to see Emiquon named a “Wetlands of International Importance” by the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental treaty in which member countries commit to the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

“I thought it would be very important for Emiquon to get this designation,” said Rosenkranz. “I knew in the back of my mind that it would take a while, at least a year or two, for it to finally be designated.”

Rosenkranz helped to begin the Ramsar application process by contacting the 12 organizations that make up the Emiquon Complex. He gathered vital information, which would eventually lead to Emiquon being named one of only 34 Ramsar sites in the United States.

“Not just everybody could have walked in there and did it,” said Lemke. “You have to have a little bit of the right training to work with these professionals in a multi-interdisciplinary setting to make this very big application process work out.”

Rosenkranz says the passion his professors have for learning has inspired him, adding the application process has given him valuable skills that will benefit him for a lifetime.

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