27 students from California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI) and the National University of Costa Rica (UNA) joined GBI faculty for field studies during spring break. This new field course in Costa Rica supports coastal monitoring projects at Las Baulas National Park, a marine sanctuary famous for the primary nesting site of the Leatherback Turtle. Students learned methods of identifying and preserving sea turtle clutches, while also participating in bird point counts to survey avian populations in the mangrove corridor. This interdisciplinary program brought together three Biology department faculty from the National University of Costa Rica, Ivan Hernandez, Oscar Ramirez, and Roberto Cordero, and two faculty from CSUCI, Brad Monsma and Don Rodriguez. Jerry Keir, GBI Director, assisted the team in establishing permanent monitoring plots within the mangrove forest. “This was wonderful beginning to what I hope to be a long-term collaboration between our institutions. This type of field work effectively advances science-based resource management education and practices,” said Dr. Donald Rodriguez, CSUCI Natural Resources Department Chair. The collaboration between GBI and CSUCI dates back to 2008 when Cal students join University of Nevada, Reno students for three consecutive years, participating in GBI’s coastal monitoring field classes in La Manzanilla, Jalisco, Mexico. Long-time collaborator, Davison Collins, Director of Mexico’s Tierralegre Land Trust, also joined the team.
By Marc Oxoby These are exciting times for GBI. As