Through Alcoa's partnership with the Earthwatch Institute, Alcoa employees have the opportunity to work alongside Earthwatch scientists on critical environmental research projects around the world – helping to unlock solutions to some of the biggest sustainability challenges of our time.
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It's so hard to say goodbye!

Like the previous mornings, the birds’ singing in the garden wakes us. But today just feels a little different as it will be our last working day in the Atlantic Rainforest. Tomorrow morning, after a brief learning session, we will pack up and be on the way back home.

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A new day begins after a “universal” breakfast - today’s cooks are from Spain and China. We had Spanish ham omelets and Chinese rice gruel.

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Because today’s schedule is pretty tight, we are lucky enough to be allowed to take a short ride, in a car, to the starting-point of our plot research journey.

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Our groups were mixed with Portuguese-speaking and English-speaking Fellows in order to maximize communications and cooperation across team members who are from different cultures. We believe good team work can break down language barriers and we were able to prove this. Today’s plot was located in a medium secondary forest area, which required us to climb up a muddy, steep mountain. We weighed the bee hives, measured trees’ diameter for their growth, recorded each tree’s flower and fruit status, and collected leaf litter from traps. Data we collected will be used for analyzing the relationship between rainfall and tree growth.

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After a busy morning workload, we went to a town nearby called Morretes, and enjoyed a SUPER nice local traditional lunch called “Barreado” made of beef and palm flour. We also had a chance to explore the town.

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After we got back from Morretes, each team member developed a draft sustainability action plan and presented them to the whole group.

Today ends in an unexpected, yet, impressive way: All team members received a farewell gift package from our lovely Dr. Reinaldo!
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Here are some of his inspiring words: “Always have good thoughts, because thoughts will be transformed into your words. Always have good words, because words will be transformed into your actions. Always have good actions, because actions will be transformed into your habits. Always have good habits, because habits will be transformed into your values. Always have good values, because your values will be transformed into your own destiny.”

Good Luck, my dear friends!

                                                         Blogger: Lu Zhao

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Earthwatch Institute

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