Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo

INTEC teacher Yolanda León receives international award for her work in the Sierra de Bahoruco

The Network of Flight Partners organizations awarded him the 2019 Individual Leadership Award, which was nominated by Chris Rimmer of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies

SANTO DOMINGO. - The biologist Yolanda León, research professor of Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), received the 2019 Individual Leadership Award, granted by the international network of organizations in the western hemisphere called Flight Companionsfor recognition to their efforts to achieve conservation de habitats based on science in Dominican Republic.

León was nominated for this award by Chris Rimmer of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, an entity with which the prominent Dominican biologist collaborates. With its awards, Companions of Flight honors individuals who demonstrate an outstanding contribution to bird conservation efforts.

During the last decade, Yolanda León has focused her work on the forests of the Sierra de Bahoruco, a region that is seriously threatened by the chronic and accelerated loss and degradation of humid forest, much of which occurs illegally within the limits of the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park. León's work also covers the protection of watersheds, la conservation of endemic threatened species. the maintenance of ecological integrity of the landscape and the improvement of the means of human life and the quality of life in the region.

León was one of the first to draw attention to the dire situation in the Sierra de Bahoruco through a project funded by a grant with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies in 2013, in which they systematically documented the continued loss of rainforest habitat in the southern slopes of Bahoruco. In this project León had the support of Grupo Jaragua.

Thanks to the work of León, nationally and internationally, greater attention is being paid to the Sierra de Bahoruco. The strategic conservation planning process was also promoted, involving dozens of stakeholders at all levels of society.

Birds like him Bicknell's Thrush, native to north america, and other associated overwintering migratory bird species are the subject of ongoing conservation efforts by León in Bahoruco.

Yolanda León is in constant research and is currently developing projects on the conservation of threatened species and ecosystems, citizen science, databases of biodiversity, studies of changes in coverage and land use.

It is currently the responsible of INTEC Geomatics Laboratory. Within his academic training he has a doctorate in marine affairs from University of Rhode Island and a master of zoology from the University of Florida. In 1997 he graduated from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo with a bachelor's degree in Biology.

In 2019, Dr. León was recognized for her publications in high-impact scientific journals, belonging to the QI, Q2 and Q4 quartiles. In fact, in that year the prominent biologist reached the highest number of citations in magazines belonging to the Q1 quartile for her co-authorship in an article on the importance of marine protected areas for the conservation of nesting hawksbill turtles in the Dominican Republic. 2019 was also recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MEESCyT) with the Eugenio de Jesús Marcano award, in Biological and Environmental Sciences and Molecular Biology.

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