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Francisco Dallmeier: 1953—: Biologist

Joined The Smithsonian Institution

After completing his degree, Dallmeier joined the staff of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., as program manager and assistant director of the newly-formed Man and the Biosphere Biological Diversity Program. He became acting director of the program in 1988 and permanent director in 1989. SI/MAB, which now stands for the Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program, began as a joint project between the Smithsonian and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). As part of the Smithsonian Conservation and Research Center of the National Zoological Park, its mission is the conservation of biodiversity throughout the temperate and tropical forests of the world.

By the late 1980s scientists were estimating that at the current rate of economic development, more than a million species of animals and plants would become extinct before the middle of the twenty-first century. Dallmeier initiated an intensive research and education program to train ecologists from developing countries to assess the biodiversity status of their countries' natural resources. By 1989 SI/MAB had undertaken field research and was conducting training workshops at four sites in the United States, as well as in China and nine Latin American countries.

Since that time, SI/MAB has established more than 300 research plots in 23 countries and has trained more than 400 scientists from more than 40 countries in the techniques of forest monitoring and assessment. SI/MAB works directly with local partners, including governments, non-governmental organizations, industry, academia, and local communities, to assess biodiversity in various regions and to establish ongoing biodiversity monitoring programs. Through its research and training courses held in various parts of the world, SI/MAB has disseminated standardized scientific protocols for assessing and monitoring biodiversity. SI/MAB also maintains its own research sites in various places including Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Canada, and China. Dallmeier has coordinated long-term field biodiversity research projects and training in more than ten countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Panama, as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C.

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