Eco-Alianza Announces

Sula Vanderplank, Ph.D., Executive Director,

Centro de Estudios del Medio Ambiente (CEMA)
a Program of Eco-Alianza de Loreto, A.C.

Eco-Alianza de Loreto proudly announces the selection of Sula Vanderplank, Ph.D, as Executive Director of the newly established CEMA, Centro de Estudios del Medio Ambiente, an international research center for conservation and public service, based in Loreto, Baja California Sur. Sula brings her broad background in conservation-science projects focused on coastal systems to bear upon this exciting project. CEMA, is an international partnership begun six years ago with the University of California. Born from Sister Park initiative in collaboration with the Channel Islands National Park, Ventura, California, which resulted in an international treaty signed by the United States and Mexico, CEMA is unique in its mission.

Sula says “our goal is to democratize science for the Loretano community, the National Park, and beyond… bringing scientists from around the world to help inform our efforts to conserve and protect the incredible environmental treasures of the Loreto region”.

Sula will lead the growth and development of the CEMA established from the guidelines developed during the International Summit, hosted by Eco-Alianza in October, 2021. Participants from NGOs, government and academic organizations, educators, private enterprises and concerned citizens gathered to determine the need and feasibility of such a center. Sula has studied the diverse ecosystems of the Baja California peninsula and the offshore islands for the last 17 years, and has a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology from the University of California, Riverside. But she’s not just a botanist, but a licensed boat captain, a whale-watching naturalist, and as passionate about the marine world as the terrestrial world. She’s also a champion of interdisciplinary studies, bridging science with art, history, and social sciences, as well as focusing on how disparate studies can be bridged together to expand learning opportunities and broaden horizons.

Sula has served in many roles throughout the conservation community, including academic roles, serving as Adjunct Faculty at San Diego State University and the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Learning in Ensenada (CICESE) for the last several years. Sula has experience bringing students from the United States and Mexico together to learn about our natural environment and shared biological resources, as well as rare species and their legal protections and management. Sula maintains an active cross-border research program and has published more than 50 scholarly articles and books on the Baja California peninsula and surrounding regions.

The need for CEMA evolved from the realization that the unique geographic location of Loreto provided research opportunities across multiple scientific disciplines, and that a center to bring together bright minds would lead to discoveries and the ability to disseminate and communicate results across multiple platforms. CEMA will connect aficionados of the natural environment in Loreto and beyond, with the region’s top scientific experts, to see how management practices can be adjusted to most benefit and protect species of concern.

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Sula says “I am personally so thrilled to be working across all disciplines to create a thriving research community in the heart of Loreto, and to be putting Loreto on the international map for environmental and biodiversity research. I am committed to making CEMA a hub for diverse scientific activities and meaningful use-driven research in the heart of the peninsula”.

Eco-Alianza is thrilled to have Sula at the helm in the development of CEMA.

To reach out to Sula and share your ideas for this exciting new venture (in English or Spanish), after May 1, 2022, please email:, or call +52 (613) 135-1907 Ext. 508, or Sula’s cell, +1 (951) 660-5769.

In order to fully reach our goal as a world class research center, CEMA seeks participation at levels from FOUNDERS to SUPPORTERS. Please click here to DONATE and join our CEMA team. You will reach the Amigos de Eco-Alianza CEMA Sub-fund at the International Community Foundation (ICF), Eco-Alianza’s fiscal sponsor in the U.S.A. In turn, you will automatically receive an email with your tax-deductible receipt from ICF.

Any questions about how to donate, you are welcome to contact Linda Kinninger, Treasurer, Eco-Alianza de Loreto, A.C. at If you prefer to donate by check –

Eco-Alianza’s U.S. mailing address:
Eco-Alianza de Loreto, A.C.
3419 Via Lido, Ste. 402
Newport Beach, CA 92663 USA

Centro de Estudios del Medio Ambiente

An international field station for research, conservation, and public service,
based in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Centro de Estudios del Medio Ambiente (CEMA)
Un Programa de Eco-Alianza de Loreto, A.C.