Growing Concern Over Rain Forest Spawns Educational Opportunity in Costa Rica

T. Jesse Fox tjfox at
Tue Mar 25 19:59:37 EST 1997

Growing Concern Over Rain Forest Spawns Educational Opportunity in Costa 

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

English Speaking Undergraduates Encouraged to Participate
Houston/San Jose -- Tuesday, March 25, 1997 --- 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 
	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 
	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 
	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 $6,600.  This includes all University of 
Costa Rica tuition, fees and matriculation, books and supplies, 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

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