Alumni Update: Jorge Tomasevic

Two days ago, we were very excited to hear an update from SEFS alumnus Jorge Tomasevic (’17, Ph.D.), who moved back to his home country of Chile earlier this spring. Jorge, who worked with Professor John Marzluff for his doctoral research, has taken on a position as science coordinator for Centro de Humedales Río Cruces (Cruces River Wetland Center, or CEHUM), a research and conservation center dedicated to produce knowledge, restore ecosystems, raise environmental awareness and promote sustainable wetland management.

“Moving abroad is very challenging,” writes Jorge, “and moving abroad with a whole family is even more challenging. But we are in a very nice place now. We found a nice house to rent. And by nice, I mean small, WARM and cute! It has a backyard, and it’s placed on a very nice area of the city of Valdivia, southern Chile. It’s winter here and it rains a lot. Way more than in Seattle. So, having a wood stove to heat the house is much appreciated. My daughter, Matilda, is loving her school, and Vania is loving this new life. We are all finding our places on this new routine.”

Jorge’s organization was established in 2015 as one of six mitigation measures mandated by court after a trial stemming from the Rio Cruces ecological disaster of 2004. At that time, the company ARAUCO S.A. had polluted the river waters with residues of a pulp mill located upstream of the Rio Cruces Natural Sanctuary. Damaging impacts included massive mortality and emigration of black-necked swans, as well as a series of other effects on the local ecosystems and surrounding communities and their local economies.

“My job is interesting and challenging, and I’m learning a lot. Very soon we will be opening a call for research proposals, and I will be overseeing the development and results that those projects generate. The main goal is to improve the sustainability of a Ramsar Sanctuary Wetland, right next to Valdivia. I am attaching a photo of the wonderful team that I work with: Ignacio Rodriguez (middle) is the executive director of the Rio Cruces Wetland Center, and Patricia Möller (right) is the environmental education coordinator. In the back is the wonderful wetland we are working to protect: Rio Cruces Natural Sanctuary.”

Great to hear from you, Jorge, and stay in touch!

Photo © Jorge Tomasevic.