Let the Journey Begin! GCU in Costa Rica

GCU students and faculty are in Costa Rica for 10 days of exploration and discovery. Led by GCU Professor of Biology Louise Wootton, Ph.D., the group will collect data and even leave behind motion-activated cameras in the rainforest so they can continue to observe wildlife in the region after they return to campus.

Dr. Wootton is making the March 26-April 6 trip with 14 students and tropical aquatic ecologist and GCU instructor Matthias VanOosterhout. For students, the trip counts as a lab, as they will conduct research comparing and contrasting Costa Rica’s three ecosystems: Monteverde – the high mountain cloud forest;  Arenal – a live volcano about mid-altitude; and La Selva, which is at the confluence between Costa Rica’s two largest rivers and is just a little above sea level.

“The students have three research projects that they will be working on,” Dr. Wootton said. Across the the three ecosystems, their work will focus on bird abundance and diversity, beetle abundance and diversity, and the frequency of bird, mammal and insect-pollinated flowers. “When we are not researching we will be exploring the culture, biodiversity and fun side of Costa Rica,” Dr. Wootton said.

Night walks in the rainforest, a visit to a Quaker farm, tours with indigenous guides and a hot springs soak heated by Arenal are on the itinerary, too.

“We will visit a rescue where they rehabilitate toucans, sloths and other native animals that are hit on roads or rescued from poachers,” Dr. Wootton added.

“I am not sure what else, but as you can see, we won’t be bored!”

Participating students include: Christina Chatelain, Kaitlyn Connell, Devan Desilva, Lesly Escobar, Nicole Hoagland, Meredith Hoffman, Samantha Kuntz, Rachel Kowal, Stephanie Poma, Anastassia Swenticky, Ashley Sousa, Alison Teufel, Samantha Torinese, and Gabrielle Tull.


Spring 2015 marks a very busy travel season for Georgian Court students visiting countries around the world.

“I’m so thrilled that they are getting out of their city, their state, to see how people live elsewhere,” said Jenn Summerhays, GCU director of global education. “My hope is that they’ll be able to do some comparing, some contrasting, some considering of other points of view and perhaps even question their own perspectives.

Going abroad tends to “make you look at yourself in a different way,” she said. “I’m hoping this will be an appetizer for continued global perspectives for them, for more trips into the future, and for civic engagement. It’s an experience that can lead to something bigger than themselves.”

As for other trips—

  • Six students recently returned from a literary tour of Paris, led by English professor Pamela Rader, Ph.D.
  • Seven students left campus March 27 to begin a World War II/Holocaust history tour of France, Germany and Belgium, led by Scott Bennett, Ph.D., a history professor, and Michael Gross, Ph.D., a biology professor.
  • Choreographer and GCU Department of Dance program director Silvana Cardell is taking eight students to Argentina for the Buenos Aires Project where they will study and teach dance.

 

GCU students and faculty are in Costa Rica for 10 days of exploration and discovery. Led by GCU Professor of Biology Louise Wootton, Ph.D., the group will collect data and even leave behind motion-activated cameras in the rainforest so they can continue to observe wildlife in the region after they return to campus.

Dr. Wootton is making the March 26-April 6 trip with 14 students and tropical aquatic ecologist and GCU instructor Matthias VanOosterhout. For students, the trip counts as a lab, as they will conduct research comparing and contrasting Costa Rica’s three ecosystems: Monteverde – the high mountain cloud forest;  Arenal – a live volcano about mid-altitude; and La Selva, which is at the confluence between Costa Rica’s two largest rivers and is just a little above sea level.

“The students have three research projects that they will be working on,” Dr. Wootton said. Across the the three ecosystems, their work will focus on bird abundance and diversity, beetle abundance and diversity, and the frequency of bird, mammal and insect-pollinated flowers. “When we are not researching we will be exploring the culture, biodiversity and fun side of Costa Rica,” Dr. Wootton said.

Night walks in the rainforest, a visit to a Quaker farm, tours with indigenous guides and a hot springs soak heated by Arenal are on the itinerary, too.

“We will visit a rescue where they rehabilitate toucans, sloths and other native animals that are hit on roads or rescued from poachers,” Dr. Wootton added.

“I am not sure what else, but as you can see, we won’t be bored!”

Participating students include: Christina Chatelain, Kaitlyn Connell, Devan Desilva, Lesly Escobar, Nicole Hoagland, Meredith Hoffman, Samantha Kuntz, Rachel Kowal, Stephanie Poma, Anastassia Swenticky, Ashley Sousa, Alison Teufel, Samantha Torinese, and Gabrielle Tull.


Spring 2015 marks a very busy travel season for Georgian Court students visiting countries around the world.

“I’m so thrilled that they are getting out of their city, their state, to see how people live elsewhere,” said Jenn Summerhays, GCU director of global education. “My hope is that they’ll be able to do some comparing, some contrasting, some considering of other points of view and perhaps even question their own perspectives.

Going abroad tends to “make you look at yourself in a different way,” she said. “I’m hoping this will be an appetizer for continued global perspectives for them, for more trips into the future, and for civic engagement. It’s an experience that can lead to something bigger than themselves.”

As for other trips—

  • Six students recently returned from a literary tour of Paris, led by English professor Pamela Rader, Ph.D.
  • Seven students left campus March 27 to begin a World War II/Holocaust history tour of France, Germany and Belgium, led by Scott Bennett, Ph.D., a history professor, and Michael Gross, Ph.D., a biology professor.
  • Choreographer and GCU Department of Dance program director Silvana Cardell is taking eight students to Argentina for the Buenos Aires Project where they will study and teach dance.

 

Related posts