Field Study and Service-Learning MediaBlog

14 July, 2023

Second Summer Session 2023: Systems Change for Health & Sustainabiity

The group visited a number of farms near Seattle, Washington during the first part
of the course prior to arriving in Costa Rica.  This provided an excellent
opportunity to compare and contrast farming practices.   



Once in Costa Rica the group visited local organic farms and planted
little known native fruit trees (Chirimoya) and other pollinator
(e.g., hummingbird & butterfly) favorites.


We also learned about Costa Rican culture and its natural & political history,
as well as assisted in an grade school environmental education
project about the importance of bees for ecosystem services.  


Visits to local farmer's markets where we learned
about (and ate) various tropical fruits!


Exploring our personal values (above), and our connection with Nature
through various Deep Ecology exercises and activities (below).

 A visit to the beautiful University of Costa Rica campus in San Ramón
where we made time for personal reflection. 


Some of the flora and fauna we encountered during the course.


03 June, 2023

Summer 2023: International Environmental Issues & Globalization

Hands-on experience tree coring in a tropical forest reserve (above) after
learning about different types of
forests and techniques in
the classroom (right)

 Visiting a fossil and minerals exhibit (above) and learning
about Costa Rican history at a local museum (below)

Learning in the field: Ecotourism in practice (left) and personal reflection
& ethnographic research (below)

Volunteer service at La Fortuna Butterfly Garden (above)
and planting herbs on the grounds (below) 

 Visiting an organic herbal health care products cottage industry run by a woman's cooperative in Grecia 

Watershed reforestation in the Western Central Valley town of Palmares


 Hiking in the Children's Eternal Rainforest 
Also see Robyn's course video here

06 June, 2022

Summer 2022: International Environmental Issues & Globalization


Outdoor learning & volunteer work in La Fortuna:

Learning the history of the ecolodge we stayed at from the founder (left top),

a Deep Ecology field activity (left bottom),

and making wild bee traps to establish colonies for honey production (below).

The course included field visits to a premontane forest, cloud forest, and lowland rain forest (left & below).
Some of the wildlife we encountered along the way...

Learning about indicators of water quality in rivers and streams (right) before applying that knowledge in a stream (with a gorgeous waterfall) near San Ramon (below).


A reforestation activity with a community water administrator in Palmares
(left & below).


Learning about marine ecology of the Pacific Coast: Commercial fish and shrimp production research, and social-cultural impacts on marine ecosystems.

13 June, 2019

Summer 2019: International Environmental Issues & Globalization

A visit to Villa Blanca Private Cloud Forest Nature Reserve in the Tilarán Mountain Range (above & below).

Learning about Costa Rican history & biological diversity at the regional museum in San Ramón.

Hiking in the lowland rain forest of the Northern Zone (above), with a stunning view of Arenal Volcano (below)

Volunteer work on an organic farm near La Fortuna: Soil preparation and planting medicinal herbs & fruit trees.

A World Environment Day celebration in Palmares: Releasing morpho butterflies into a butterfy garden (above),
and learning about local environmental conservation efforts & tree planting to create a small park at a local high school (below).

Some of the local wildlife we were lucky enough to see during our outings!

Learning about marine ecology and sustainable
community development projects of the
Pacific Coast in Puntarenas.

05 June, 2018

Summer 2018: International Environmental Issues & Globalization

  Hiking in the Children's Eternal Rainforest Reserve in the Tilaran Mountains.


 Some of the local fauna we encountered at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge in La Fortuna.

A visit to a local organic woman's herbal health care production facility in Grecia.

Aquatic ecology and biological assessment of streams:
Theory and field work sampling in and around San Ramon.

Visiting a hydroelectric facility in the Northern Zone, where we discussed the pro's and con's of large hydroelectric project contributions to Costa Rica's 99.6% renewable electricity mix.

The National University Marine Ecology Field Station in Puntarenas, where we learned about aquatic organisms and fisheries of the Pacific coast.  

 Volunteer work: Planting pineapple and basil on an organic farm in La Fortuna (left and top),
and reforestation in Las Tinajitas Reserve in Palmares (bottom right).