Elsa Valiente Riveros, M.S.
Elsa Valiente, M.S. is the director of Restauración Ecológica y Desarrollo A.C. (REDES). REDES is a local non-profit that aims to increase ecosystem health of wetlands in Xochimilco, Mexico by monitoring water quality and local biodiversity, providing research results to policy-makers, and educating local farmers on sustainable agriculture and business strategies. Elsa has been working in Xochimilco to restore the wetlands since 2002. Elsa has an M.S. in Biological Sciences with specialization in Ecological Restoration from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM). Elsa speaks Spanish and English.
How does citizen science support your research?
Our approach is to bring science closer to society. We began working with farmers and local inhabitants of natural systems, but since we met Earthwatch, we realized the potential citizens have for scientists in collecting data.
Citizen science means time saving because we can do more samplings in less time. It also means having the chance to spread knowledge on our natural environment, which in a place like Mexico City is scarcely known. We have found in our citizen scientists new points of view for environmental and social problems which enrich the discussion and analysis.
What do you enjoy about working in Xochimilico's wetlands?
I love my job! Being inside the wetlands, listening to the birds singing, smelling the wet soil and plants, working and chatting with local people.
I also enjoy building (along with my colleagues, farmers, academics, citizen scientists and sponsors) a better and more sustainable wetland.
What is your favorite moment in the field?
Getting down to work, getting dirty and finding Axolotl salamanders!
- M.S. in Biological Sciences with specialization in Ecological Restoration, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM) (MX)
- B.S. in Biology, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana Xochimilco (MX)