Marina Castellino


Join Marina Castellino, Education and Youth Engagement Specialist, for Manomet’s May edition of the Small Sit, a virtual webinar series designed to introduce our friends and supporters to different facets of our work across the Western Hemisphere. Marina will share the ins and outs of the unique Ambientalia Experiencia (Environmental Experience) program, which aims to empower future local leaders at Laguna Mar Chiquita, Argentina, to identify threats to the site and develop community projects to propose and implement solutions to mitigate threats present in the region.

Ambientalia Experiencia was created in 2021 by Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHRSN)/Manomet and Líderes de Ansenuza Foundation, and combines environmental education with local and international community engagement to link WHSRN sites to one another, in order to promote shared experience and knowledge, and encourage a sense of community responsibility. Every year, a new class of students – from fifteen to nineteen years old – has the opportunity to experience field trips, shorebird camps, coastal cleanups, leadership events, a project fair, and an environmental leader’s forum.

To date, Ambientalia Experience has made some impressive progress, including:

  • Training over 500 high school students in three editions of the program, empowering a community of over 50 teachers from 22 different towns in the region;
  • Supporting 40 youth-led environmental projects on research, conservation and sustainable businesses;
  • Leading 90 in-person events across the region; and
  • Fostering connections among 15 different WHSRN sites, with a special focus on inland saline wetlands.

Marina will also introduce the Conservation Academy, a new chapter of Ambientalia Experiencia created in 2022 to train communication, tourism, and environmental college majors, which brings conservation experts from Manomet to in-person or virtual lectures where they share knowledge and experiences, and mentor student-led projects that are presented at the end of each edition.