DANTA TROPICAL BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION FIELD COURSES SUMMER 2023

Each year DANTA offers a number of training courses in various aspects of tropical biology. Typically, the courses are one month long but shorter courses are also offered through our organization. The courses are intended for undergraduates or early graduate level students who have a keen interest in tropical biology and conservation but have little or no experience of working in a tropical environment. Non-students are also welcome to participate.

For more information, please visit our website and/or contact us at conservation@danta.email.

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Conservation and Sustainable Development in Costa Rica

Dates: June 5- June 22, 2023

Program Fee: $2800

Application deadline: May 15, 2023

Course Description

Management and conservation of natural resources by, both, local and indigenous communities have proven to be a highly effective strategy to conserve ecosystems, support local livelihoods and cultural values, and to make food production more sustainable. This course provides students with field learning experiences in various local projects in Costa Rica, exploring aspects of sustainability including agriculture, development, tourism, wildlife monitoring, and community-based management. The course offers learning experiences at the sustainable and organic farm, Finca Kobo, located in the Osa Peninsula comprising 2.5% of the world´s diversity; as well as the indigenous Boruca reserve in Puntarenas, one of the last indigenous tribes in Costa Rica.

Learning experiences include seminars, lectures, discussions and field exercises including principles and methods of sustainable agriculture, development, and community-based management. These experiences explore different farming and tourism systems, wildlife monitoring protocols, ecological farming practices, and a wide range of concepts such as soil and water-management, polycrops, heirloom and invasive species, or medicinal plants. In addition, students will gain a better understanding on indigenous groups’ land management, history, and culture, as well as practical experience carrying out social studies, participatory methods, protocols, and techniques for local sustainable development and management.

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Methods in Primate Behavior and Conservation

Dates: July 10-25, 2023

Program fee: $2800

Application deadline: May 15, 2023

This two-week course is designed to provide students with field experience in primate behavior, ecology, and conservation. Learning experiences 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 conservation through participation in Osa Conservation’s reforestation, sustainable agriculture and wildlife monitoring programs (big cat and sea turtle).

Field Excursion

All courses include a visit to a wildlife rehabilitation center, sustainable chocolate plantation and dolphin and snorkeling trip of the Golfo Dulce. We overnight on the Boruca Indigenous Reserve where we will learn about the community and their traditional lifeways and help with needed projects. Every effort is made to implement eco-friendly and socially responsible practices into our day-to-day operations, field courses and overall mission.

Enrollment in each course is limited to 15 students. The course is open to both credit and non-credit seeking students. University credit can be arranged through your home institution.

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