Costa Rica, South America
During the summer of 2009, Sheryl Manygoats, CO-AMP student at Fort Lewis College, participated in the Study Abroad Program at Duke University. The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) at Duke offered this exciting opportunity for students to study tropical biology in Costa Rica. Based at OTS Field Stations, this undergraduate course provided access to a broad array of tropical ecosystems, including lowland wet forest at La Selva, dry forest, wetlands at Palo Verde, and premontane moist forest at Las Cruces. This international experience also included tropical ecosystem design, implementation, and interpretation which prepared Manygoats to conduct her own independent projects at the research facilities. Projects ranged from seed dispersal, population studies (flora and fauna), and comparisons of different habitats.
Jaymus Lee, Jennifer Ulrich and Audrianna Lee, all CO-AMP students at Fort Lewis College, also participated in NSF’s NAPIRE (Native American and Pacific Islander Research Experience) 2010 program at the Las Cruces Biological Station to study tropical biology in Costa Rica. Based at Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) Field Stations, this undergraduate course provided access to a broad array of tropical ecosystems, including lowland wet forest at La Selva, dry forest, and wetlands at Palo Verde, and premontane moist forest at Las Cruces in Costa Rica. This international experience also included tropical ecosystem design, implementation, and interpretation which prepared these students to conduct their own independent research projects.
Two CSU CO-AMP students, Nicole Kenote and Deidra Newbrough traveled to Costa Rica in 2011 as part of an internship program sponsored by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). OTS is a nonprofit organization that provides leadership in education, research and the responsible use of natural resources with a primary focus on the tropics. Kenote and Newbrough participated in the NAPIRE Program, which is designed specifically to expose Native American and Pacific Islander undergraduate students to the biodiversity of the tropics. The students worked with industry leaders to conduct hands-on research based on data gathered in the field and worked with professors in designing, implementing and interpreting data based on research models they developed during the course of the internship. At the end of the summer, Kenote and Newbrough presented their research findings in formal reports and oral presentations.
The internship program also included lectures, seminars and field activities with an emphasis on conservation biology, the effects of deforestation, and island biogeography.
Two Trinidad State Junior College (TSJC) graduates, Jess Trujillo and Jesse Johnson, participated in a National Science Foundation – REU internship at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana Africa in 2009. This NSF-REU provided participants the opportunity to conduct research in ecology, environmental science, and conservation biology in tropical sub-Sahara Africa. Trujillo, former president of TSJC’s Phi Alpha chapter of the Tri-Beta biological honor society, was awarded a USDA $50,000 Biology Transfer Scholarship and is currently a conservation biology major at the University of New Mexico.