A trip to Costa Rica to learn about tropical ecology and conservation is being offered from March 11 to 24 by the Department of Environmental Studies (ES) at Antioch University New England (AUNE). The interdisciplinary course is open to AUNE students, staff, faculty, and alumni.
Co-taught by a social scientist and a natural scientist, the course is an-depth study of the biodiversity and conservation challenges of the New World tropics. Participants will compare the ecological dynamics of three ecosystemsÃ¢â‚¬cloud forest in the Cordillera de Tilaran near Monteverde, rainforest on the Atlantic slope near San Gerardo, and dry tropical forest along the coastÃ¢â‚¬including the flora and fauna and issues in biodiversity conservation. They will explore the socio-economic dynamics, including human impacts on the landscape, ecotourism projects, restoration approaches and conservation perspectives. During the trip, students can develop group or independent research projects during the trip. Participants also will have an opportunity to snorkel and visit a wildlife rehabilitation center.
The cost of the trip is $2,064, excluding airfare. The course is worth three credits; it may also be audited. If taking the course for credits, you must register and pay for course credits and tuition fees. Students are required to participate in-person or online in pre-trip meetings (dates to be announced). Some follow-up work will occur online after the trip.
The course will be led by Beth Kaplin and Tania Schusler, ES core faculty members. Kaplin, a tropical ecologist and conservation scientist, has led this trip twice before, and has advised students in research in Monteverde. While most of her work is in Africa, Kaplin enjoys sharing the biological richness and conservation challenges of the forests of Costa Rica with students. Schusler is a social scientist who most recently led a field study trip to Mexico. Her research focuses on citizen participation, community-based conservation and collaborative natural resource management