Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Bashan Foundation

Here is a short quick description of what the Bashan Foundation's own website describes as it's goals and purpose.
This Non-Profit's site describes activities that support environmental science, conservation of environmentally sensitive areas, surveys of important ecological sites, scientific and educational publications (many available as PDF files), art (painting and music), and graduate student fellowship program of the Bashan Foundation. The Bashan Foundation supports the following specific subjects within the area of scientific research:
  1. Conservation,re-forestation,re-vegetation,rock weathering, and restoration of eroded desert soils;
  2. Microbiology and conservation of mangrove ecosystems;
  3. Water bioremediation, water management, and biological treatment of wastewater with microalgae;
  4. Effects-of-plant-growth-promoting-micro-organisms(PGPB/PGPR), especially Azospirillum spp., as inoculants and mixed inoculants on crops (such as, wheat, tomato, pepper) and wild plants, and
The effects of plant growth-promoting micro-organisms in reducing salt and drought stress in plants, of enhancing organic agriculture with and without composts amendment, biological control of plant pathogens, and genetic manipulation of these kinds of micro-organisms to enhance microbial competence.
The Bashan Foundation is a data bank for free scientific information that contains many thousands of scientific papers mostly not on desert habitats. It is a registered US-charity. Established: December 27, 1999 and incorporated (July 2003, Oregon, USA) as a nonprofit organization.

The Environmental Microbiology Group that is a part of the Northwest Center of Biological Research of the federal Government of Mexico that is making a living from desert and environmental issues.

Only three members of the Environmental Microbiology Group (of currently 17 members) are also members of the Bashan Foundation. The site of the research group is merely hosted by the Bashan Foundation far larger site. As charity this is what the Bashan Foundation is doing.

I have a strong love for all things desert. Though I have an interest in all of Earth various ecosystems and their soils and how this "The Earth's Internet" operates within various forest ecosystems, in the beginning I found very little information on Desert or Savanah ecosystems & how their underground mechanisms actually work. Then I stumbled upon this website. The 'Bashan Foundation' is home based in the southern Baja California of La Paz, Mexico. They have not only done amazing work and research in studying the various ecosystems on the deserts of Baja California, but also on exactly how they work and function under the ground and the development of numerous restoration techniques that they share with others around the world. 

The ceremony of the cake in the laboratory
Another impressive quality that I have noticed in reading their website is their ability to inspired the strong desire for learning in their Students who have had the privilege to learn and study at their center for Drylands Research. 

Sergio congratulated by Dr. Luz de-Bashan
This is what to me allows them to stand alone from other institutions of learning. They just simply do not encourage young people to be good Textbook Studiers or great Test-Takers, but also more importantly good independent Thinkers and Doers. This is a challenge that many of the wealthier of this world's Colleges and Universities have failed to do with their young enrollees. But there is something more here than just a serious stoic atmorphere of higher learning. There appears to be a sense of family among everyone and a fair amount of fun and enjoyment which goes along with working at this school. Take a brief look at a clue found on the website's own bit of humor which I believe is managed by Dr Bashan's own daughter. Take a sample look:

So what wouldn't be fun about working and learning from a place like the Bashan Foundation ? Another important area of research, although you would not think of this when considering Baja California are the numerous Mangrove Tree Forests found along the tidal flats along the coasts of south Baja. As we know today, this are important fishery Nursery habitats for the world's oceans. These habitats must compete with commercial interests who consider the land more valuable for resort beach fronts and condo projects than the natural resources they truly are. The Bashan Foundation have also developed techniques for restoration of these important sites and educational material for others to follow. Here is another example:

Image - Bashan Foundation

Image - Bashan Foundation

They have also developed and offered other researchers various tools of the microbiological trade for facilitating the research done in their areas of the Earth. This again is free for the public use. Hence as mention previously, they are non-profit and benefit from the charity giving of the public.
Scientific Tools and Scientific Techniques
They have published thousands of research papers which are of great benefit and fascination. Such information prepared in appetizing ways needs to have an appeal to attract the average person to have a real personal feel and respect for just how our Earth has been constructed and put together. Here is the link below to many of these papers available online:
Bashan Foundation: Archive of Publications
The Bashan Foundation donates scientific information created by its members to all scientists and students with a special goal to reach scientists in developing countries where scientific information is difficult, if not impossible, to obtain because of financial constrains. 
Monthly Summary of Downloads Per Month
Yearly Summary of Downloads Per Year
Another interesting part of the Bashan Foundation is their focus on the Arts. I appreciated this from the start with their usage of animation itself in expressing and illustrating some of the complex workings going on in our natural world. It's an extremely effective teaching tool. Here is the link to their dedication to Art and below that some humorous, though very effective teaching animations which will prove effective in teaching people in some of the less developed countries. But let me also clarify that the Arts Advancement is just more than Scientific teaching, it's also to encourage great artistic development in most all other areas of painting found in many parts of the globe. Please click around and view the entire beautiful Gallery.
Teaching Art that I appreciate. Sometimes people who live in hard to reach countries with limited access to education are benefited by such illustrations that many would consider childlike in nature. Yet even young children need to learn and by ways which will be the most effective. I personally work with and volunteer training each week to public speaking and art of teaching and have done so since the late 1980s, so I know the effective use if simple words/terms and effective simple illustrations drawn from familiar backgrounds of the audience I'm speaking to. Hopefully other will catch on and make this same practical application. Enjoy and appreciate the ideas & concepts behind these illustration tools.

For Further Illustrative Teaching Art Tools, please click on the link below and the following pages which are not only informative teaching media, but also quite entertaining and fun for which learning is meant to be.
Scientific Cartoon Animations
One of my favourite artisitic concepts was created by someone other than this foundation above, but it illustrates a natural phenomena of something called Hydraulic Lift & Redistribution as well as Hydraulic Descent. Many researchers themselves are unfamilar with this type of work, but clearly it is an important subject that should be known by everyone on Earth and simple Illustrations are an effective tool for accomplishing this.
Illustration taken from Todd Dawson's Research Website
Make learning about nature something fun and exciting for your young people folks!!! Do whatever it takes to compete against the other technologies like electronics which captivate and shackle a childs attention these days.
This next link is a further page to more detailed and specific projects undertaken but their teams.
None of this Research work and training comes free of course and they do rely on the good charitable giving of individuals and other interested organizations who wish to benefit from their hard research work efforts and inventive innovations. Please consult the website through it's contacts page for ways you may contribute.
Once again, please bookmark this valuble resource to your favourites!

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