President Stanley in Africa
President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. traveled to Madagascar and Kenya this summer to experience Stony Brook University’s commitment to improving lives around the world. During his two-week adventure, he visited three sites that feature some of Stony Brook’s most far-reaching research and development efforts.
Day Two – Ranomafana National Park
With the long journey behind us, we have finally arrived in Ranomafana National Park, one of Madagascar’s best known and most important parks. Created in 1991 following Dr. Wright’s 1986 discovery of the golden bamboo lemur, the park is located in the Fianarantsoa Province of southeastern Madagascar. Named for its famous hot springs (rano means water, mafana is Malagasy for hot), Ranomafana National Park is home to a treasure trove of species that have been the subject of nearly 200 master’s and PhD dissertations, more than 1,000 scientific and scholarly publications, and is a popular destination for Study Abroad students. The park boasts 114 species of birds and 12 kinds of lemurs. In 2007, UNESCO listed the 106,000-acre park as one of six World Heritage Sites.
One highlight of the trip so far has been hearing about the many ways in which Centre ValBio (CVB) is impacting the surrounding community with its strong emphasis on and commitment to education and health. CVB manages three complementary sectors in outreach efforts that cover the peripheral zone of Ranomafana National Park. The Reforestation Team teaches about the value of trees in our environment and daily lives, as well as restoring degraded habitats with endemic species. In addition, it provides seeds and training for vegetable gardens to improve the nutritional conditions in the impoverished rural communities.
This is work that all of us at Stony Brook can be proud of.