|Tropical Ecology Professor
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Aug 2011 - Present
| Costa Rica is internationally known for its extensive biological wealth and progressive conservation initiatives. Despite being only the size of West Virginia, Costa Rica has more bird species than found in all of North America, more plant species than in all of the Eastern United States, and nearly ten percent of all bat species. In addition, Costa Rica has large tracts of neo-tropical montane cloud forest, the rarest of the neo-tropical forest types (representing only 1.2% of all neo-tropical forests).
This biological wealth as well as a stable government has made Costa Rica a major destination
not only for eco-tourists but university students eager to learn and study about tropical wildlife and ecosystems using a hands-on approach. A number of universities, private organizations, and NGO's have developed study abroad programs that give U.S. students an opportunity to study and immerse themselves in various tropical environments in a structured way.
Since 2011, I have been teaching Tropical Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Natural History with several of these well established institutions. Most notably, I have been working with the Council on International Educational Exchange with the Sustainability and Environment program. To learn more about the objectives of the program, please visit their website [ CIEE - www.ciee.org] . In addiition, I have had the pleasure to work with the Organization for Tropical Studies [www.ots.ac.cr] and the Monteverde Institute [www.monteverde-institute.org].
In each of these programs, students are introduced to tropical ecology through lectures, readings, discussion, field expeditions and experiments, as well as individual research projects. These intensive courses are usually a semester in duration and are on par with upper division biology courses taught in universities within the United States.
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