Field Study and Service-Learning MediaBlog

30 May, 2009

Central Pacific: Manuel Antonio & Esterillos

The Beach at Manuel Antonio
One of the more beautiful beaches in Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio National Park. We received
a presentation from Javier (the park guide in charge of the environmental education program)
before enjoying the beach for the afternoon.  

Mangove Ecology Visit Dr. Titus (in the background, SUNY-Fredonia) explaining mangrove ecology at the Pacific coast near Caldera.

Nocturnal Inter-Tidal Exploration
The group exploring tide pools at Playa Esterillos in search of nocturnal
tropical marine life. 

28 May, 2009

Palmares: Madre Verde Reserve

Hiking Pre-Montane Forest
A hike in pre-montane tropical forest during a visit to a conservation project in Palmares.

Service-Learning in a Tree Nursery
Providing assistance planting native seeds in tree nursery. Once they have grown into
seedlings, they will be planted as part of reforestation efforts.

Tree Planting Activity
The trees we planted in assisting reforestation efforts in a community watershed conservation project.
The trees will also sequester all carbon dioxide released as a result of implementation
of this course in less than 6 months, counting international travel, local travel,
and time spent in-country. 

26 May, 2009

La Fortuna: Local School Visit

Primary School Visit
Three participants (left to right: Alejandro, Lynne, and Jen) helping primary
school students with their homework during a school visit.

Painting a Schoolhouse
One of the various volunteer work assignments during the course: Painting a room
at a local primary school. Left to right: Lynne and Sarah.

Primary School Children
Lynne (center) with primary school children. They were anxious to share with us during our visit.

23 May, 2009

San Ramón: Alberto Brenes Biological Reserve

River Exploration
Maria examining an aquatic insect in the river at Alberto Brenes.

 Discovered: Gold Beetle
A gold beetle caught in the nocturnal light trap at the Biological Reserve.

Volunteer Work: Rock Collection
Helping collect rocks from the river for a new sidewalk that is to be build in front of the field station
at the Alberto Brenes Biological Reserve. From foreground to background are:
Jen, Lynne, Lisa, Sabrina, and Maria.

Viewing the Rain Forest
Claire, Lynne, Sabrina, and Maria (foreground to background) looking out at the virgin
rain forest from the biological field station at Alberto Brenes Biological Reserve.

Tropical Plant Diversity Activity
Classification of tropical plants at the Alberto Brenes Biological Field Station. Left to right are:
Maria, Dr. Sanchez (Professor, University of Costa Rica), Sabrina and Claire.

A Beautiful River in the Biological Reserve
The primary river that runs in front of the biological field station.

22 May, 2009

La Fortuna Area

Medicinal Farm Visit
The group visiting a medicinal plant garden, family farm, and cottage industry shampoo production facility
that uses self-made biogas!

Solar Greenhouse Visit
A visit to a solar greenhouse where medicinal herbs are being dried.
From left to right: Alejandro, 
Miguel Karian, and Jen.

Fresh Milk Anyone?
Alejandro practicing milking a cow. An optional volunteer work activity on a small family farm in the La Fortuna area.

Arboreal Serpent
An arboreal nocturnal snake found in the northern lowland area surrounding La Fortuna:
In the garden of the eco-lodge we were staying at in fact!

Family Farm Visit
Visiting hogs during a small family farm visit.

21 May, 2009

San Ramón: University of Costa Rica & Organic Coffee Farm

Environment & Conservation in Costa Rica
Dr. Karian giving a presentation on Environment and Conservation in Costa Rica at the
University of Costa Rica, Western Regional Campus.

Organic Coffee Farm Visit
The group visiting an organic, bird-friendly, shade-grown coffee farm in the San Ramon area.
This is the only coffee farm in Costa Rica certified by the Smithsonian Institute.

19 May, 2009

San José: City & INBIO Park

San Jose: The Central Market
Sarah, Jen & Sabrina shopping during a visit to the central market in San Jose.

An adult stenesour (iguana) posing in the tree.

14 January, 2009

Playa Langosta: Las Baulas National Park

 Everything You Wanted to Know About Sea Turtles...
...but we not afraid to ask: A presentation by Ryan

Learning on the Sand: Sea Turtle Nesting
A lesson on learning how female sea turtles dig their nests to lay their eggs. A couple days later,
some group members put that knowledge to work in re-locating two Olive Ridley sea turle nests.

Mangrove Lesson
Ryan giving a lesson on mangrove ecology during a visit to the estuary near Playa Langosta.

 Sunset at Playa Langosta
A nightly ritual at Langosta: Watching the sunset.

12 January, 2009

Palmares: Madre Verde Reserve

 The 'Green Team'
The group ready to go to work helping maintain trees in a reforestation project in Palmares.

Volunteer Service: Reforestation Maintenance
Helping clean the area surrounding seedlings in the reforestation
project of Madre Verde Reserve in Palmares.

Taking Only Memories, Leaving Only Trees
The tree we planted at Madre Verde Reserve in Palmares to support local reforestation efforts and offset carbon emissions associated with the course. It is calculated that this tree will sequester the total carbon dioxide emmissions in less than five years.

07 January, 2009

San Ramón: Alberto Brenes Biological Reserve

 Birding in the Field
Learning about birding techniques from Ryan at the biological reserve.

One of the specimines of birds trapped (and released) at the biological reserve. 

The Rain Forest
A view of the premontane rain forest, in the rain no less!

Tropical Plant Biodiversity
Learning about tropical plant diversity in the premontane forest near San Ramon.

 River Rats
Hiking to a waterfall in the Alberto Brenes Biological Reserve. 

Deep Ecology Activity
Sub-group members exploring their connection with the Earth in a
'deep ecology' activity facilitated by Miguel.

Micro Hydroelectric Plant Visit
Dr. Karian explaining how a micro-hydroelectric plant works during a visit to the plant
that powers the biological field station at Alberto Brenes Biological Reserve.

 Rainforest Hike
Hiking into the biological reserve.

05 January, 2009

Poas National Park & Volcano

 Poas Volcano Visit
A clear day at 2,800 meters elevation at Poas Volcano! 

Poas Volcano Laguna
The laguna at Poas Volcano. A rarity to see it so clear, coinsidering it is in a cloud forest.

03 January, 2009

San José: National Biodiversity Institute & Park

 Field Site Presentation
The group attending a presentation on biological diversity & field study work at INBIO Park.