Field Study and Service-Learning MediaBlog

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).   

06 June, 2017

Summer 2017: International Environmental Issues & Globalization

The group on a hanging bridge over the rain forest during a private reserve hike in the Northern Zone (above), and a waterfall stop along the way (right).

  Discussing sustainable energy in the classroom (right), 
and a visit to Peñas Blancas Hydroelectric Plant (above),
one of many such plants that contribute the vast majority
of the country's 98% renewable electricity mix.

Stream sampling (above) and bioassesment water quality analysis in the lab (below).

A presentation about traditional wooden cart manufacturing during a visit to a historical hydro-mechanical workshop.

Learning about watershed conservation and restoration: Theory in the classroom,
a water processing plant tour, and reforestation in the biological corredor watershed
that provides the local community with their drinking water.

Visiting a local farmers market where we tried various tropical fruits
and fresh-squeezed 
sugar cane juice.

Cristina and Becca helping make aloe vera gel during a visit to a woman's organic health care production facility. 

Two of the volunteer work assignments during the course: Cleaning out sediment from
the river where water is diverted for the micro-hydro plant (main picture),
and the group on a local farm where we planted medicinal plants.

14 June, 2016

Summer 2016: International Environmental Issues & Globalization

Hiking in Alberto Brenes Biological Reserve,
and some wildlife encountered.

Learning about solar energy at our hotel in San Ramón.

Marisa, Jenna, Tessa and Zoe proudly showing off aloe vera
gel they helped make at a woman's natural health care product
facility we visited.

Stream sampling and bioassesment activities.

 Course participants together with a local bilingual school group discussing restoration and conservation (above),
and where we planted trees to offset carbon emissions and support local conservation efforts (below).

A renewable energy discussion and field site visit to a hydroelectric plant.

Visiting an exhibition on democracía a la Tica
(democracy Costa Rican style).

Learning about marine aquaculture at the
National University Marine Field Station in Puntarenas.

Volunteer work planting a herb garden (above), and river rock collection for
improving the road into the biological reserve (below).

11 June, 2015

Summer 2015: International Environmental Issues & Globalization

The group being welcomed to San Ramón by the Mayor's office

Stream sampling and bioassesment activities.

A visit to a local business to learn about their solar energy initiatives.  Since connecting their photovoltaic system to the grid they have produced more energy from the sun than they have consumed, in addition to their solar hot water system operating with no additional energy input!

Adrian and Max in awe of the tropical rain forest!

Some of our field activities: Lunch at a woman's health care product cottage industry
and hiking in a family-owned private reserve.

 Reforesting in a biological corridor to support watershed conservation efforts and
offset carbon emissions associated with the course.


Hiking, birding, and frogging in the Alberto Brenes Biological Reserve

Planting seedlings: Volunteering at a rural medicinal plant garden.

 Shared learning in Conservation and Restoration with a group of local students studying
English at the National Institute of Learning (INA).