On October 7, 2016, the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University and the recently founded National Institute of Ecology (NIE) in South Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will facilitate joint research and educational opportunities for students and faculty at both institutions. The Director of the NIE, Dr. Jae Choe, received his PhD at the MCZ/ Harvard University, working with E.O. Wilson. Dr. Choe and his colleagues, Dr. Jeong and Dr. Lee visited the MCZ for the signing and to discuss their work at NIE with the MCZ community so that they could encourage student and faculty research exchanges. There was an informative seminar with an excellent video presentation describing the facilities, research, educational activities and environmental areas.
The NIE offers educational and recreational programs for children in outdoor and indoor facilities as well as research laboratories and environmental study sites for scientists. The purpose of the NIE for South Korea is to inventory ecological resources, track and predict ecosystem changes, conserve species, preserve the environment, restore damaged ecosystems and provide ecological and educational outreach to citizens by engaged science educators.