U of Costa Rica Rain Forest Program

T. Jesse Fox worldc at neosoft.com
Fri Jun 21 16:02:12 EST 1996

Growing Concern Over Rain Forest Spawns Educational Opportunity in
Costa Rica

Contact:	T. Jesse Fox
World Class Adventures in Education
Office 713-961-3836  Res. 713-977-4376
e-mail: worldc at neosoft.com

English Speaking Undergraduates Encouraged to Participate
Houston/San Jose -- Friday, June 21, 1996 --- Starting this summer,
The University of Costa Rica is offering a special section of
bioenvironmental science courses designed specifically for English
speaking students.  “Rain Forest Adventure” meets the academic science
requirements of most university undergraduate programs.  Students from
the United States and throughout the world have the opportunity to
acquire a comprehensive understanding of the tropical rain forest.
	Many universities in the developed nations offer rain forest study
programs -- programs which maintain exemplary academic standards.  It
is somewhat ironic that those same countries have destroyed richly
diverse old growth areas.  Most students do not get a chance to walk
in and touch rain forests and study their ecology, so they don’t have
the incentive to tackle difficult courses to understand the future of
the rain forest. 
	It is for this reason the University of Costa Rica in conjunction with
World Class Adventures in Education has launched this new ecology
program, taught in English for undergraduate students.  The course
professors have earned their Ph.D.’s from American universities. 
	English speaking undergraduate students are being recruited to
participate in the program.  It has been designed to take advantage of
the pristine national park system and congenial social climate of
Costa Rica.
	This course of study will include Tropical Ecology (4 hours), Natural
History of Costa Rica (4 hours), Biological Diversity / Conservation
(4 hours) and Spanish (4 hours).  The program semester is three months
long.  Students at most major universities in the US will receive full
credit for all courses taken at the University of Costa Rica.  The
program will provide students with a broad perspective of the rain
forest and many hands-on opportunities.  It also features an
incredible tropical adventure with an extensive calendar of field
study events.
	Costa Rica has 12 ecological zones, ranging from sea-side tidal
mangroves to sub-alpine paramó located high above the timberline.
Each of the zones is a distinctive ecosystem with diverse natural
vegetation.  The University of Costa Rica is internationally acclaimed
and accredited and uniquely qualified to provide the finest level of
instruction in this academic field.  Access to Costa Rica’s forests,
together with the university’s high standard of instruction, provides
students with an unprecedented opportunity to fully understand the
nature of one of the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems.
	The destruction of the world’s rain forests has been documented and
discussed.  But very few people have the expertise to evaluate,
monitor and systematically catalog what remains.  If the destruction
continues it becomes imperative that studies be conducted to determine
the importance of that loss.  If these ecosystems cannot be saved, we
must at least understand them and their relationship to the rest of
the world.
	Saving the rain forest is an incredibly involved and complicated
process.  It involves strategic planing of incentives and motivation.
What should be done?  Why should we do it?  The catastrophic effect of
the loss of bio-diversity on the future of human existence is the
primary motivation for deeper study and understanding.  However, the
challenge is convincing a sufficient number of people that the effects
will be catastrophic.  There is an effort to develop eco-tourism to
generate the financial incentive for countries to protect the rain
forest by designating it as park land.  There has even been an effort
to buy small portions of land to stop deforestation.  The need that
has not been met is development of a hands-on, educational structure
where large groups of students can learn the issues and obstacles of
this global concern.  The rain forest’s best hope is young men and
women with the motivation, tools and experience to develop proposals
and execute initiatives that safeguard our bio-diversity.  There may
be no easy answers.  However, if answers exist, fresh young minds
present the greatest opportunity of finding them.  
	Applications for admission are available on request.  The current
total program cost is $6,200.  This includes all University of Costa
Rica tuition, fees and matriculation, books and supplies, round trip
airfare from Houston Intercontinental Airport or equivalent place of
departure, private room, breakfast and dinner with a Costa Rican
family, and an extensive calendar of field trips.

Undergraduate students interested in participating should contact:

World Class Adventures in Education
1300 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 1750
Houston, Texas 77056
Phone: 713-961-3836
E-mail: worldc at neosoft.com


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