Thirteen top Iranian biologists recently visited UCI and other U.S. sites as part of an educational exchange program run by the National Research Council of the U.S. National Academies, and the World Learning organization. A three-day symposium at the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences & Engineering included presentations by the Iranian scientists and speakers from UCI, UC Santa Barbara, Colorado State University and the U.S. National Park Service. Preserving open space, protecting endangered animals, and studying the interface between urban populations and the surrounding landscape are concerns in both countries. Ecologists representing the University of Tehran, the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Isfahan University of Technology and Malayer University attended. “All of us gained new ideas about how to preserve our shared Earth as we deal with similar ecological issues in our respective countries,” said Albert Bennett, dean of UCI’s School of Biological Sciences. “Our Iranian guests gained and shared an abundance of knowledge in addition to culture and friendship. We were honored to have them join us.” The group also traveled to Crystal Cove State Park for a tour of the Park & Marine Research Facility and the Crystal Cove Alliance headquarters, and they hiked Irvine Ranch Conservancy lands with executive director Mike O’Connell to view field experiments related to native plant habitat and restoration. Elsewhere in the U.S., the scientists visited the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the headquarters of National Geographic, New Mexico State University and wildlife areas in that state.