It’s 5:30 a.m. and already the cacophony of birdsong is deafening. But then again, it may be the howler monkeys we saw when we arrived — a tough distinction for someone new to the rainforest. Today is day two of a ten-day graduate course in Costa Rica entitled “Building Bridges and Creating Corridors.” The racket outside the shuttered doors is calling, and sleep seems pointless, so I acquiesce to the excitement of the day. Someone from my cohort is already awake and exploring the grounds close by. I wonder if she is thinking the same thing I am. What, exactly, made that noise? The mysterious creature remains hidden behind a lush wall of bush, taunting our curiosity.
And so begins my journey of exploring biological corridors in Costa Rica- from the cloud forests of Monteverde to the costal mangroves of San Antonio. Our group is made up of five environmental management students, an intern of permaculture, and Western State Colorado University’s global coordinator-cum-graduate faculty. We are supported by several Costa Rican organizations and professionals who infuse us with local knowledge. But importantly, we experience firsthand the international reach of these projects. Corridors live both within and beyond Costa Rica’s borders. Continue reading “Biological bridges key to sustaining Costa Rica’s biodiversity”→
Long-lining a huge threat to sea turtles and sharks
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Despite its reputation as an eco-haven, some research suggests that Costa Rica’s longline fisheries pose a significant threat to sea turtles and sharks.
Ecologists studying the impacts suggest that more regulation is needed. Well-timed and targeted closures in critical areas could go a long way toward protecting sensitive species — and to ensuring a sustainable fishing industry.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Hotter and drier beaches all but wipe out eastern Pacific populations of leatherback sea turtles by the end of the century, according researchers from Drexel University who said the global warming could hinder the species ability to recover from other threats, including egg poaching and entanglement in fishing nets.
If climate patterns follow projections used in the study, the eastern Pacific population of leatherback turtles will decline by 75 percent by the year 2100.
“We used three models of this leatherback population to construct a climate-forced population dynamics model. Two parts were based on the population’s observed sensitivity to the nesting beach climate and one part was based on its sensitivity to the ocean climate,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Vincent Saba, a research fishery biologist with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center, visiting research collaborator at Princeton University, and a Drexel University alumnus. Continue reading “Study: Global warming could all but wipe out leatherback sea turtle populations by the end of the century”→
SUMMIT COUNTY —Colorado Mountain College is taking applications for its international programs study abroad courses, including art and culture in Guatemala and Spanish immersion courses in Costa Rica.
Spend time in Spain, Costa Rica, Guatemala or Ireland and earn college credit through Colorado Mountain College’s International Programs study abroad courses:
Spring semester in Spain, Jan. 17-April 7, with a cultural seminar in Madrid, Jan. 17-22; earn credits in Spanish and literature. Application deadline Nov. 21. Contact Mary Ebuna, 719-486-4224, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guatemala: Art and Resistance, March 1-11; earn credits in art and political science while you learn about Guatemalan painting, weaving, pottery and architecture in the context of the country’s tumultuous political and social history. Application deadline Dec. 2. Contact Bob Gumbrecht, email@example.com, 970-870-4484; or Cynthia Zyzda, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-870-4432.
International business and literature in Dublin, May 16-June 16; earn credits in literature and/or business. Application deadline March 16. Contact Jeffrey Runyon, 719-486‐4240, email@example.com.
Spanish immersion and home stay in Alajuela, Costa Rica, June 30-July 28; earn credits in Spanish. Application deadline April 1. Contact Lauren DeAre, 970-319-5817, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past participants have included college students working toward a degree and community members looking for a learning experience. For more about Colorado Mountain College’s International Programs, go to coloradomtn.edu/InternationalPrograms.
SUMMIT COUNTY — We generally think of plants as deriving their nutrition mostly from soil, through a root system, but there is an entire family — the epiphytes, with more than 2,000 species — that lives in a non-parastic association with other plants. The group includes mosses, orchids and bromeliads, and one of the best places to see and learn about them is at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.