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Advanced Course in Primate Conservation: El Zota, Limon, Costa Rica

Educational Organization:
Estacion Biologica El Zota, Limon, Costa Rica

Date Posted:
2013-01-22

Program Description:
COURSE DEADLINE EXTENSION!

Course Announcement
Primate Conservation in the Tropics
Summer, 2013 Costa Rica
TREE: Tropical Research in Ecology and Ethology, LLC
Instructor: Dr. Sarah Carnegie
Website: http://treefieldstudies.wordpress.com/courses-2/primate-conservation/

For more information contact the instructor directly: Dr. Carolyn Jost Robinson at: cjost@purdue.edu

Or Contact Dr. Joachim at lfjoachim@comcast.net or treefieldstudies@gmail.com

Dates: June 8th – July 7th, 2013 (tentative – subject to minor changes)
Course outline: This course will focus on the issues facing the conservation of primates in disturbed and threatened habitats, including an examination of the complex problems arising between primate habitats and neighboring human settlements, as well as deforestation and hunting. Students will observe numerous primate species including white-faced capuchins, howler monkeys and spider monkeys. Throughout the course, students will learn techniques to observe wild primates and collect ecological and behavioral data, as well as basic conservation biology theory. Students will witness the effects of deforestation on populations of monkeys and participate in a conservation project on the Caribbean Coast. Our focus will center on the importance of protected areas to the well being and survivability of native primate species.
As community interaction and involvement is key to primate conservation, we believe it is important to attempt a basic understanding of local languages. As such, Spanish language classes will be held throughout the field course and student participation is required.

Location: This course will take place in Costa Rica at the Estacion Biologica El Zota, Limon, Costa Rica: a privately managed Reserve under the protection afforded natural areas in the country by MINAE and The Neotropical Foundation. El Zota Biological Station is composed of 2400 acres of protected tropical wet forest. A variety of habitats are found at the station including: primary, secondary and regenerating forest; swamp; lagoon, and areas bordered by pastureland. The station is located in the Caribbean lowlands about 17 miles from the Nicaraguan border. In addition to El Zota we will travel to the Coast for our last week to work along with the research staff of the Monkey Bridge Project located in the Talamanca region of Costa Rica primate conservation project; while finishing up research projects.

We are committed to conserving wild areas and at the same time “giving back” to the people living nearby. Therefore, a portion of each student course fee will cover a years worth of high school fees for a needy Costa Rican student. The cost for high school supplies and uniforms in US dollars is not much; but in many cases precludes the completion of high school. We are aware that in far too many cases the lack of a high school education in rural areas results in a lifetime of grueling labor done on banana or pineapple plantations with no hope of university or other jobs. Our hope is that our efforts will enhance student well being and facilitate choice by enabling students to attend university following graduation. Ultimately, we hope that with our help students may come to work towards conservation in their own community.

Accommodations: Students will live in dormitory style with up to six others in a room. Rooms are equipped with bathrooms, showers, bunk beds and fans. IN camp there are separate buildings for dining, lectures and laboratory work. In addition, we have a small store located next to a covered patio where students can gather for a cold drink, a snack or a dance party.

While our course cost may be a bit more than some field courses it is also a bit less than others. We take pride in the fact that our students stay in safe clean updated facilities staffed by courteous staff in two Central American countries. In addition, our sites are close to medical facilities and have electricity, phones, and cars; taking a lot of worry out of any emergency. You should know that these features are not the norm for field stations in these countries and should alleviate a lot of the typical worries surrounding this sort of course inherent in the minds of students and parents alike.

Community Service: We are committed to conserving wild areas and at the same time “giving back” to the people living nearby. Therefore, a portion of each student course fee will cover a years worth of high school fees for a needy Costa Rican student. The cost for high school supplies and uniforms in US dollars is not much; but in many cases precludes the completion of high school. We are aware that in far too many cases the lack of a high school education in rural areas results in a lifetime of grueling labor done on banana or pineapple plantations; with no hope of university or other jobs. Our hope is that our efforts will enhance student well being and facilitate choice by enabling students to attend university following graduation. Ultimately, we hope that with our help students may come to work towards conservation in their own community. We are working on establishing a similar program in Panama; hopefully we can get this up-and-running by the end of this year.

Side Trips: We take a number of fun side trips in Costa Rica; which are hugely popular. We have taken students to visit cloud forests and coffee/chocolate plantations, zip lining, sea turtle watching, white-water rafting, snorkeling, caving, tree climbing, and beach combing. While these excursions are not our focus, they enhance the student’s experience and are a lot of fun to boot!

Course Cost: $2795 USD plus airfare to and from Costa Rica.
Cost includes all accommodations, meals, travel costs and trips occurring within Costa Rica during the course dates. We recommend students arrive a day before the actual start-date and leave at least one day following our final day however, in order to allow additional time for travel from field locations to San Jose. Students will be responsible for accommodations these two nights; though we usually share rooms at hotels in the city in order to keep costs down.

The Application deadline is April 30th, 2013: apply using the forms tab on the following link.

http://treefieldstudies.wordpress.com/forms/

Send electronic versions of your completed application files to: Dr. Lorna Joachim at lfjoachim@comcast.net

FEES, DEPOSITS AND HARD COPIES OF THE APPLICATION FORMS SHOULD BE SENT TO:

TREE: Tropical Research in Ecology and Ethology, LLC: c/o Dr. Lorna Joachim P.O. box 1252 Corrales, NM 87048

Please make all checks out to: TREE Field Studies, c/o Dr. Lorna Joachim

If you have sent your application and unofficial transcript you will receive a tentative acceptance or denial. Receipt of and successful vetting of your application, transcript, signed medical form, letter of recommendation and liability waiver will be necessary for full acceptance to the program.

A non-refundable $300.00 deposit is due within two weeks of acceptance to the course. If you are having trouble meeting this deadline contact us and we can extend the deadline on a student-by-student basis.

The balance of your costs are due by May 1st, 2013. A payment schedule can be arranged through us if need be; though final payments in this case are due by May 10th.

Entrance Qualifications:
Upper division undergraduate, or graduate student

Tuition / Fees:
$2795 USD + airfare to and from Costa Rica

Support (scholarships, travel):
none

Start + End Dates:
June 8th – July 7th, 2013

Application Deadline:
April 30th, 2013

Contact Information:
Dr. Lorna Joachim
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM
USA

Website:
http://treefieldstudies.wordpress.com

E-Mail Address:
lfjoachim@comcast.net

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