DANTA Field Course Opportunities in Costa Rica

[PLEASE NOTE: these are non-IUB overseas study courses.  If you are interested in them, please contact IU Overseas Study to discuss your participation.  Thanks!]

 

We are pleased to announce our 2015 field courses in tropical biology. Our course are intended for undergraduates or early graduate level students who have a keen interest in tropical ecosystems and conservation, but have little or no experience of working in a tropical environment. Participants may enroll on either a credit or non-credit basis.

 

METHODS IN PRIMATE BEHAVIOR AND CONSERVATION

Course dates: January 1 – January 15, 2015 and July 13 – July 27, 2015

Location: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Registration deadline: December 1, 2014 and May 1, 2015

Fees: $1800 excluding international airfare.
This course is designed to provide students with field experience in primate behavior, ecology, and conservation. This course will be held at Osa Conservation’s Piro Reseach Station in Costa Rica’s spectacular Osa peninsula. As the one of the largest tracts of rain forest north of the Amazon (roughly 400,000 acres in the Osa Conservation Area), it is renowned for high species diversity. It is one of only a few places in Costa Rica that has jaguar, puma, sea turtles and four species of monkey (mantled howler monkey, black-handed spider monkey, white-faced capuchin and squirrel monkey).

The learning experiences for the course fall into four main categories: field exercises, seminars, lectures, and applied conservation. The field exercises and seminars provide instruction and experience in: (1) methods of measuring environmental variables, including assessment of resource availability, (2) methods of collecting and analyzing the behavior of free-ranging primates, (3) assessments of biodiversity and (4) techniques for estimating population size. Lecture topics will cover the behavior and ecology of Old and New World primates from an evolutionary perspective. Selected lecture topics include primate sociality, feeding ecology, taxonomy, rain forest ecosystems and conservation. Service learning is a large component of all our programs. Students will gain experience in applied primate conservation and also have opportunity to participate in Osa Conservation’s sea turtle breeding and monitoring program, and the Center for Cetacean Research’s spotted and bottlenose dolphin conservation program during a 2 day stay at their research station in the Golfo Dulce.

During the course participants will have opportunity to see an active volcano and hike through montane cloud forest during our visit to Volcan Poas National Park in Costa Rica’s Central Valley. In addition, we will visit a sustainable chocolate plantation and spend an afternoon on the Boruca Indigenous Reserve where we will learn about their community and traditional lifeways. All within country travel is in cooperation with Planet Conservation, our sustainable travel partner. Every effort is made to implement eco-friendly and socially responsible practices into our day-to-day operations, field courses and overall mission.

 

PRIMATE BEHAVIOR AND CONSERVATION

Course dates: June 15 – July 10, 2015

Location: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Registration deadline: May 15, 2015

Fees: $3000 excluding international airfare.

 

This course is designed to provide students with field experience in primate behavior, ecology, and conservation. This course will be held at Osa Conservation’s Piro Reseach Station in Costa Rica’s spectacular Osa peninsula. As the one of the largest tracts of rain forest north of the Amazon (roughly 400,000 acres in the Osa Conservation Area), it is renowned for high species diversity. It is one of only a few places in Costa Rica that has jaguar, puma, sea turtles and four species of monkey (mantled howler monkey, black-handed spider monkey, white-faced capuchin and squirrel monkey).

The learning experiences for this course fall in 5 main categories: field exercises, seminars, lectures, independent research and service learning. The first half the course is devoted to learning field techniques, while the second half focuses on designing and carrying out independent research on any aspect of primate behavior, ecology or conservation. Lecture topics will cover the behavior and ecology of primates from an evolutionary perspective. All students participating in our programs will have opportunity to be involved in applied conservation (i.e., sea turtle monitoring and reforestation) and community service. The course includes a 2 night/3 day homestay. During the homestay, students will be involved in the daily activities of the host family with the purpose being to gain a greater understanding of Costa Rican culture. The homestays additionally provide support for the local communities and lead to greater community inclusion in our conservation efforts.

The course includes a 4 day field trip which includes a visit to a chocolate plantation and 2 night stay in Drake Bay with a snorkeling tour of Cano Island, one of Costa Rica’s premier dive spots. Here there is a good chance we will see white-tipped reef sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins and humpback whales. On the return trip from the island, we will explore the Terraba Sierpe Mangroves, which are accessible only by boat and consists of over 100,000 acres of the largest mangrove forest in Central America. The final day of the field trip we will visit the Boruca Indigenous Reserve where we will learn about their community and traditional lifeways. The field trip is in cooperation with Planet Conservation, our sustainable travel partner. Every effort is made to implement eco-friendly and socially responsible practices into our day-to-day operations, field courses and overall mission.

As much of our advertising is done by word-of-mouth, we encourage you to spread the word by forwarding this information to students or friends who may be interested in our programs.

For more information, please visit our website at www.DANTA.info and/or email conservation@danta.info. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter. For an alumni perspective on our programs, please see our new blog DANTAisms http://dantablog.wordpress.com/.
Hope to see you in Costa Rica!

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