Conversation with Keenan Adams, Forest Supervisor of El Yunque National Forest & A Reflection on Our Research Experience by Margo Muyres (22), Briana McGowan (22), Ellie Murphy (22)

by Chris Burke
Jan 22

We were fortunate to have the chance to speak to Keenan Adams, Forest Supervisor of El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service. Keenan Adams is a Wildlife Biologist & Ecologist who has worked on protecting and preserving the environment for two decades. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assist in helping the forest and nearby communities recover from the disaster. He spoke to the difficulties of working with bureaucratic government officials who are appointed by administrations rather than achieving positions through merit. Adams instead focuses on partnerships with local communities and organizations such as Para la Naturaleza. Wealso discussed the role and importance of sustainable tourism in the context of Puerto Rico. As we near the end of our time in Puerto Rico, we are grateful to have been provided the chance to speak with individuals dedicated to various aspects of climate resiliency efforts. Interviewing these activists, scientists, and organization leaders provided important insight into how issues related to climate change interact with those connected to Puerto Rico’s relationship with the mainland. Upon our return to Tufts, these conversations will shape our research reports to provide nuanced accounts of the intricacies of the global climate crisis and its particular impact in Puerto Rico. This unique and rare opportunity of combining experiential learning with in-depth research would not have been possible without the Institute of Global Leadership (IGL).