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Destiny Karash-Givens ENVT’16 traveled to Mexico City, Mexico this summer to do research throughout the wetlands and chinampas.

Chinampas are essential to Mexico City and surrounding areas because the city was built on water, and is currently sinking. Therefore, these artificial gardens built on top of lakes are crucial for agricultural purposes. She received a grant through The Earthwatch Institute (, which is an international environmental charity that focuses on bringing people from all walks of life together to work with world-class scientists. Throughout her weeklong expedition she participated in various scientific research such as water sampling, assisting farmers, soil sampling, and analyzing different species of zooplankton. Although there were many components of the expedition, the main focus was preservation of the chinampas most sought after salamander, the axolotl. The axolotl is a keystone species in the chinampas and it is currently critically endangered, and said to be completely extinct within the next few years. Although on her trip she did not encounter any axolotl, she witnessed how passionate people are about saving the chinampas and keeping their history, culture, and agriculture alive and well. To read more, visit the blog they created