Trip Date: June 2-11
Trip Leader(s): Deb Levheim
Focus: Ecology and Conservation
Deadline: December 1, 2012
Institutional Partner: Ecology Project International
Description: This is an amazing opportunity to assist with a sea turtle monitoring project and be an active collaborator in international sea turtle conservation efforts.
Costa Rica’s Pacuare Nature Reserve, with four miles of beach and a 2,500-acre rainforest, is a protected sea turtle reserve. The beach at Pacuare is of critical importance in terms of worldwide sea turtle nesting activity. Costa Rica’s tropical lowland forests are home to howler monkeys, three-toed sloths, toucans, iguanas, tree frogs, and other wonders of the natural world. Students collect data on nesting sea turtles including carapace width and length, and number of eggs laid. Using that information they develop a field-based research project. On-course, students complete at least 20 hours of research while patrolling the remote beach at the Pacuare Reserve in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust. This 12- day program also includes over 50 hours coursework and instruction in subjects like sea turtle biology, rainforest ecology, and research methodology. After completing their fieldwork, students meet their Costa Rican peers when they visit a school attended by local program participants. Students spend time together giving joint presentations, sharing research data, engaging in the powerful exchange of ideas, and realizing their collaborative strength.