For many students on courses that visit the reserve, it is their first experience in a tropical rain forest. The field station is ideally located so that it perfectly blends accessability and seclusion. It is a convenient 3.5-hour drive from San Jose Airport that most courses come directly to the reserve from the airport. Yet it is isolated enough from disturbances of development that the environment within as well as surrounding the reserve supports the many species of wildlife expected for the region. Signage on maintained trails and maps make exploration around the reserve a safe way to immerse first-time visitors in the incredible diversity of the rain forest. The open design of buildings allows students to interact with nature even when participating in 'indoor' activities. Focus of courses hosted at the reserve have ranged in topic and are not strictly restricted to the biological sciences. The goal of the staff is to help instructors make the best use of the resources available at the reserve and provide an environment for students to experience the forest as a hands-on classroom and outdoor laboratory.
The field station can house up to 21 overnight guests. There are two buildings easily accessible from the road and located close to one another. The Casa is the main administrative building with spaces for all the indoor course activities such as presentations and work areas, dining, housing, and relaxing. The Casita is purely a sleeping area with an outdoor gathering space.
On the day of arrival, we give a 45-minute orientation and safety talk. Timing will be arranged with the intructors. During your stay, we can provide presentations, workshops and guided walks. Below are some examples. Feel free to approach us with other ideas or topics you would find helpful for your course.
A regional view of conservation and specific examples of how the reserve is participating in local conservation initiatives.
Overview of the history of conservation in Costa Rica and indicators of current environmental health.
Learn how to describe and distinguish the principal Neotropical plant families. Hands-on workshop that uses the arboretum as a resource. This activity can be programmed to range from an hour long to a half-day workshop. Offered with a post-workshop quiz (self-graded).
An early morning activity that includes mist-netting birds and banding them. The length of activity dependent on time it takes to catch birds. As we wait for the birds, a brief talk is given about the uses of bird banding in science as well as explanations of the mist-netting and banding processes. The reserve is a member of the Bird Banding Network and all data collected during demonstration is shared with the network.
An evening activty to demonstrate use of insect light traps and learn about the insects that are attracted to them. The light trap is set up under the shelter of the Galeron and monitored off and on throughtout the evening for several hours.