Category Archives: Costa Rica

Tax Deductible Travel! Volunteer vacationing spots in the world! March 2013 news

Save Money with Tax Deductible Travel

Volunteer vacationers can get money back on project contribution costs


Online release with images: http://new.pitchengine.com/pitches/a794efb2-a0e4-4795-bbd4-5358e1ff4303

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, March 6 – Vacationers who thought certain destinations would be out of financial reach might want to investigate the tax deductions available with volunteer vacations. Travellers who participate in specific volunteer programs can deduct contributions and expenses on their tax return, making some of these projects up to 40% lower in cost than they might otherwise expect.

GoVoluntouring connects travellers to over 3,000 projects in over 100+ countries worldwide. Many of these programs are registered charities and not-for-profits that can issue tax receipts. For Canadians and Americans, this means a long list of projects where they can expect to receive a portion of their contributions and expenses returned as a tax deduction. Here is a selection of the projects partners offering possible tax benefits:

For Canadians:

Care for Cuba: http://goo.gl/RDrld

Get a chance to peer into the beauties, struggles, and determination of a society that has long been shrouded in mystery to many North Americans. This volunteer vacation program focuses on research and education, cultural awareness, and academics.

Help build a sustainable orphanage in Guatemala: http://goo.gl/WVgmi

Help build a village for orphaned and abandoned children. According to UNICEF, Guatemala is home to more than 340,000 orphaned and abandoned children. Extreme poverty is the main culprit for this situation, but there is something being done about it.

Fighting Poverty in India: http://goo.gl/I9181

Globe Aware works by providing support for teachers, working with rescued child laborers, and assisting at day care centers catering to children below the poverty line in Jaipur, India.

For Americans:

Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica: http://goo.gl/07ZeZ

Imperiled by egg poaching, hunting, the lights of coastal development, and long line fishing practices, leatherback turtles are also under threat from climate change and ocean pollution.

On The Trail of the Giant Panda in China: http://goo.gl/C1hSr

The long-term aim of this project is to create healthy, self-sustaining wild panda populations through the release of captive giant pandas to strengthen small isolated populations of wild panda.

Expedition Vietnam: http://goo.gl/BdBhA

Volunteers will be engaged in a variety of projects, from teaching English, to the building of playgrounds and better homes, refurbishment of buildings for use as schools, as well as other infrastructure to help raise the standards of living throughout rural Vietnam.

GoVoluntouring recommends that all volunteers consult their personal tax advisor before making any decisions as tax regulations often change. For more information on the tax deductible projects visit: www.govoluntouring.com/tax-deductible-projects or call toll-free (Canada/USA) 1.888.988.7897

About GoVoluntouring: www.govoluntouring.com

Flight Centre’s responsible travel division, GoVoluntouring, is a leading online community for volunteers, overseas teachers, and learners abroad. Its unique search filters allow users to perform detailed and customizable searches from a huge database of projects and programs in over 110 countries around the world.

Last Minute Itinerary in Costa Rica, October 2010

·        Day 1 – Arrival to San Jose, Costa Rica

Our driver will wait for you outside the terminal to take you to your hotel in San Jose.Overnight at hotel Sleep Inn – standard rooms or similarNOTE: estimated driving time 30 minutes ·        Day 2 – San Jose – Tortuguero (B, L, D)Early in the morning you will depart to Tortuguero. There will be a stop for breakfast on the way. Once you reach the small port of Matina/Caño Blanco, the tour will continue by boat, first on the river and then through the canals that run parallel to the coast until Tortuguero National Park, providing an excellent chance to take a close look at the wildlife. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail and delicious lunch at the lodge in Tortuguero. In the afternoon, visit the Tortuguero village, at the northeastern corner of the park, on a thin strip of land between the sea and the main canal where the laid-back style, the reggae roots music and the local people combines in this colorful village. At night, dinner will be served in the main restaurant of the lodge and there will be free time to enjoy the facilities.Overnight at hotel Pachira Lodge – standard room or similar NOTE: boat transportation on shared basis. Estimated driving time: 6 hours (including breakfast stop and boat ride). Maximum load per person: 13kg (we can get permission upon request for more) ·        Day 3 – Tortuguero – National Park (B, L, D)After breakfast and depending on the weather conditions, there will be a guided jungle walk to the forest or a boat tour through the Tortuguero Canals, the lunch will be at the lodge. In the afternoon enjoy a walk along the hotels’ private trails, or ride a boat through secondary canals. The park is formed by a navigable network of lakes and canals with a large variety of wildlife, including monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, sloths, turtles and more than 300 species of birds. Dinner will be served at the lodge.Overnight at hotel Pachira Lodge – standard room or similar ·        Day 4 – Guapiles – Arenal (B, L)After breakfast leave the Caribbean towards Guápiles. There the Car representative delivery your car rental to continue to Arenal area which is located in the northern part of the Alajuela province, close to the Nicaraguan border. This region possesses beautiful and varied scenery. Refreshed by gentle tropical rains, this land stays green and humid almost all year round. The lowlands host gushing rivers, hot springs, lagoons, remote national parks, and plentiful wildlife. Overnight at hotel Mountain Paradise – junior suites or similarNOTE: Estimated driving time 6 hours (including boat ride and lunch on the way) ·        Day 5 – Optional tour – Arenal Hike + Baldi Hot Springs + dinner (B)The tour starts in a 3 km hiking trip through the tropical humid forest. Tour to the volcano: hiking through the forest to get to the lava flow, plants, wildlife and Arenal Lake. See and hear the glowing rocks of lava tumbling down of the mountain. In the end, the thermal water of Baldi Hot Spring for a few hours and dinner there.Overnight at hotel Mountain paradise – junior suites or similar ·        Day 6 – Arenal – Monteverde – Optional tour – Night Tour (B)After breakfast depart towards Santa Elena & Monteverde area. Breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the islands below will accompany you as you ascend the hill to Monteverde and Santa Elena. An upward road leads to this forest-covered site whose name, which means
=>               
“Green Mountain”, is most appropriate to introduce visitors to the wildlife sanctuary it preserves. The community, secluded on a 1400 meter-high (4594 ft) plateau, was founded in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers. Although some of the original virgin forest was cleared for dairy farming, the founders’ environmental consciousness, together with help from private organizations, led to the creation of a biological preserve that hosts one of the richest ecological systems in the country Upon arrival the night tour. During this Night Tour, you will walk the cloud forest trails surrounded by thick jungle where you can observe sleeping birds, tarantulas, spiders, grasshoppers, crickets, lizards, frogs, sloths, porcupines, white/nose coatis, olingos, kinkajous, snakes and more.
Overnight at hotel Montana Monteverde – superior room or similarNOTE: Estimated driving time 5 hours ·        Day 7 – Arenal – Monteverde – Optional tour – Hanging bridges + Canopy (B)Start with 1.9 mile trail that cruises through the forest; along the trails the visitor will find each of the eight different Hanging Bridges that compose this bridge system. The lengths and heights of these bridges vary between 170 feet and 560 feet in length and heights between 40 feet and 260 feet. You will then be flying through 15 cables and 18 platforms with an optional Tarzan Swing at the end of the adventure. Selvatura Park is one of the longest Canopy Tour in Costa Rica. Also it is the only one located inside Monteverde’s Cloud Forest.Overnight at hotel Montana Monteverde – superior room or similar ·        Day 8 – Monteverde – Manuel Antonio (B)Continue to the central pacific coast where Manuel Antonio is located. Manuel Antonio is undoubtedly one of the most luxuriant locations in Costa Rica, with spectacular white-grey sandy beaches fringed by thickly forested green hills.Overnight at hotel La Mansion – standard room or similarNOTE: Estimated driving time 4.5 hours ·        Day 9 –Manuel Antonio – Optional tourRafa Tour – Catamaran (with lunch) (B)(Breakfast) An amazing and unique experience that you ever had in your life could be being watching and feeding monkeys with an extraordinary guide in Damas Island.Your ‘Catamaran Island Adventure’ begins at Quepos harbor. You will head toward the horizon, cruising through the aquamarine waters toward the spectacular and scenic coastline of Manuel Antonio Park. Soon you will be in open water and on the lookout for spotted dolphins, migrating humpback whales, sea turtles and manta rays. You will be captivated by the sight of dolphins frolicking in the boat’s wake, or the inimitable sound of a whale’s song. As you make our way down the coastline of the park, the mysterious islands, jagged cliffs and unique rock formations will look almost close enough to reach out and touch. Overnight at hotel La Mansion – standard room or similar ·        Day 10 –Manuel Antonio –  Optional tour – Manuel Antonio National Park (B)Spectacular natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere attract many visitors to Manuel Antonio Park. You will follow a professional guide through one of Costa Rica’s most famous National Parks that gathers numerous species of butterflies, monkeys, raccoons, coatis, agoutis, two – toed sloths, snakes, orchids, etc.Overnight at hotel La Mansion – standard room or similar

Day 11 – Manuel Antonio – San Jose – National Airport (B)According to your international flight, departure schedule drive back to the International Airport, drop off the car there.NOTE: Please notice that check in for International flights must be done three hours prior departure. Estimated driving time 5 hours END OF OUR SERVICES!

Net price p.p. dbl Occ

      ·          Prices per person in US dollars and subject to changes without notice·          Prices are valid until 30.09.10·          Program subject to availability at the hotels or services offered at the time of confirmation, prices might vary if any is not available  INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE:Accommodation

 Meals

  • As specified in the program (B-Breakfast/L-Lunch/D-Dinner)

 Transportation (Shared & Private)

  • Private transportation International Airport – Hotel on day 1
  • Shared bus & boat transportation San Jose – Tortuguero on day 2
  • Shared bus & boat transportation Tortuguero – Guapiles on day 4

 Car rent Daihatsu Bego, full insurance, zero deductible, extra driver, from day 4 to 11. Tours ·         Tortuguero National Park (village tour + canals tour + trails tour) Optional Tours (net price per person)·         Arenal Hike + Baldi Hot Spring + dinner – $40.00  ·         Hanging Bridges + canopy – $50.00·         Rafa Monkey Tour – $28.00·         Catamaran – $55.00·         Manuel Antonio National Park – $33.00

Does not include:·         Personal expenses & tips·         Optional tours and activitiesDeparture taxes ($26.00 per person at the time of quote)

THE MIGHTY ARROW, Soca King of the World, dies at 60.

The Mighty Arrow, Soca King of the World, dies at 60.

OLVESTON, Montserrat (Sept 15, 2010) – The Soca King of the World, Alphonsus “The Mighty Arrow” Cassell, died at his residence on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat today at the age of 60. 

The international recording artiste was diagnosed with cerebral cancer in early 2009. He was airlifted to the neighbouring island of Antigua last week for treatment. 

His family wishes to thank the medical teams, friends and family who gave their support during the period of his illness. 

Arrow or “Phonzie”, as he was referred to by close friends and family, is responsible for taking the soca genre to the international music scene with his 1982 smash hit, Hot, Hot, Hot. 

Having won the local calypso competition on four occasions, the talents of the proud son of Montserrat were spotted by former Beatles manager, Sir George Martin, who  worked with Arrow to turn his focus to his recording and touring career. 
 
Arrow recorded no less than 22 studio albums with other notable hits including Long Time, Dancing Mood, O’La Soca and Groove Master. 
 
He has performed at concerts, music festivals and gala events across the globe. 
 
“His death is a great loss to the family, his native land of Montserrat and the music world,” said his brother, Justin “Hero” Cassell, another talented vocalist and songwriter, who worked with Arrow during his peak years. 
 
Funeral announcements will be made in due course.  
 
—For further information contact Justin “Hero” Cassell at (664) 496-0203. 

LOST IGUANA RESORT & SPA ANNOUNCES A “TWO FOR TWO” SPECIAL WITH 50% OFF ROOMS THROUGH NOVEMBER

LOST IGUANA RESORT & SPA ANNOUNCES A “TWO FOR TWO” SPECIAL WITH 50% OFF ROOMS THROUGH NOVEMBER

_____________________

Buy Two Nights, Get Two Free; Rooms From $93 Per Night

ARENAL, COSTA RICA, September 7, 2010 – Here’s something to really fall for this fall: travelers to Costa Rica who stay two nights at the upscale Lost Iguana Resort & Spa through November 15 will get two bonus nights free, including breakfast daily.  What’s more, those who book the “Two for Two” special – reaping an incredible 50% off regular rates – will also receive a complimentary couples massage at the resort’s beautiful Golden Gecko Spa, if they mention the publication where they read about the offer a time of booking. 

Nestled on 120 acres of pristine rainforest, the Lost Iguana’s 42 well-appointed standard deluxe rooms, luxury suites, celebrity villas and casitas are uniquely designed to give guests the most impressive views of the lava-flowing side of Arenal Volcano, one of the 10 most active in the world.  The resort also offers a host of amenities guests would expect from a larger resort, like its full-service spa, but with the warmth and comfort of a privately owned inn.

Sitting in the middle of a lush jungle in North Central Costa Rica, the resort offers guests exclusive use of its private walking paths, which feature babbling brooks, large and small waterfalls and excellent bird watching.  Guests are free to enjoy self-guided healthful wanders, or tap the resort’s onsite wildlife guide who is available to answer questions and lead individualized tours. 

Following a day exploring the rainforest, guests can enjoy authentic Costa Rican cuisine at the open-air Blue Hibiscus Restaurant, sip a cocktail at the sit-down/swim-up thatched tropical bar or take a soak in the hot and cool freshwater pools.

For pure indulgence, guests can unwind at the new Balinese-themed Golden Gecko Spa with a host of relaxing treatments including the Costa Rican Facial with volcanic clay or the Mango Lily Body Polish, which nourishes and exfoliates the skin.  They can find solace in the open-air massage bungalows or during a Cocoon Steam Therapy session that improves circulation and detoxifies the body.  The spa also offers all guests full use of its complimentary gym and saunas.

Conveniently located near many of the area’s popular attractions, guests of Lost Iguana can walk the famous Hanging Bridges, enjoy white-water rafting adventures, rappel alongside cascading waterfalls into stunning canyons, or take dips in the local thermal hot springs.

Lost Iguana Resort & Spa’s “Two for Two Special” saves guests 50 percent off regular rates.  Four-night stays start at $370 per room, based on double occupancy, including two free nights and daily breakfast.  Guests who mention the publication in which they read about this deal at time of booking will also receive a complimentary couples massage.  This package is available for travel through November 15, 2010.

For more information or to book, visit Lost Iguana Resort & Spa’s website at www.lostiguanaresort.com, or call the hotel directly at 011(506) 2267-6148, or e-mail maritzalostiguana@mac.com.

The Lost Iguana Resort & Spa is a boutique hotel with 42 uniquely appointed rooms on 120 acres in a primal rainforest. All rooms have perfect views of the lava-facing side of Arenal Volcano. The resort boasts trails through the jungle, two pools, swim-up bar, open-air restaurant and serene Golden Gecko spa with saunas, gymnasium and massage bungalows.  For more information about Lost Iguana Resort & Spa, visit www.lostiguanaresort.com.

The 2010 OTS Online Auction!

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Enter Auction

The 2010 OTS Online Auction
is Now Open!


We are pleased to announce that the 2nd OTS Online Auction is now open for bidding. We have received a number of unique items for our community to bid on. We have eco-friendly travel opportunities, artwork and specialized tours in the US and Costa Rica.

The proceeds of this auction will benefit the students and researchers of OTS. We hope you will enjoy bidding and shopping on behalf of these individuals.

Enjoy the auction!
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Bird Watching in
Golden Gate Park,
San Francisco
Anna's Hummingbird
Gather together five friends and join Allan Ridley & Helen McKenna Ridley on a spring bird walk through Golden Gate Park followed by lunch at the Beach Chalet Restaurant overlooking the Pacific at Ocean Beach. 

More Info

Estimated Value: $400
Opening Bid: $200

Autographed Richard Thompson 4-CD Boxed Set “Walking on a Wire”

Richard Thompson Box Set
Declared by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of all time, the iconic British folk-rock legend is one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. Thompson’s songs, of which he’s written more than 400, have been covered by R.E.M., Elvis Costello, the Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Los Lobos, and many more. Thompson has been received by rock royalty, such as Bruce Springsteen, and Elvis Costello, as well as by real royalty, Queen Elizabeth II. Thompson is also the recipient of an Ivor Novello Award for Songwriting, the Orville Gibson Award for guitarists, and the 2006 BBC Lifetime Achievement Award.

More Info

Estimated Value: $75
Opening Bid: $40
S & H: TBD

La Selva
Photography Tour
Greg Basco
A group of 4-6 people will join Greg Basco, owner of Foto Verde Tours, at La Selva for a 4 hour photography tour and lunch.
Greg will help you to improve the images that you capture at La Selva and for years to come! This tour can be tailored to all levels, including beginning photographers, casual amateurs, serious hobbyists, and aspiring professionals. Whether you are a beginner and want to improve your vacation photos or you are aiming to become a professional photographer, Greg Basco can provide you with the guidance you need.

More Info
 

Estimated Value: $250
Opening Bid: $125

Organization for Tropical Studies Newsletter. Feb 2010

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February 2010

 

Join OTS on
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IN THIS ISSUE
Las Cruces Symposium
Auction Opens Next Monday!
Tropical Biology Apps Due March 1
Graduate Course Deadlines
Panamá BioCurso
Research at Palo Verde
OTS ONLINE STORE
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Forward to a Friend Join Our Mailing List

4-Star Rating
Inquiry in Rainforests: an in-service program for teachers
July 14 – July 29, 2010

Teachers

Scholarship Applications Due March 1, 2001

2009 TAX RECEIPTS
Lost your 2009 gift receipt? Just e-mail us for a copy, we’ll be happy to send you one by e-mail!
Tax Receipt
Email us!

LDG Symposium

Contact information:
(506) 2773·4004 ext. 3000
recepcion.lc@ots.ac.cr

.

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OTS Memberships

 

OTS Auction Opens on Monday!


The OTS online auction will open at 8:00 EST, February 22, 2010!

We will continue to accept items until February 18, 2010. The auction will coincide with our Annual Meeting in Costa Rica.
StarFeatured ItemWhale Watching & Sunset Cruise For 10

Whale WatchingBring nine of your closest friends for a 4 hour cruise along the South Pacific of Costa Rica observing whales and dolphins as they jump and play in their natural environment. Pacific Quest, a 110′ catamaran based in Dominical, allows you to sit back and relax on the open, upper observation deck with a tropical drink from the bar as the on-board naturalist answers your questions.

Special Instructions
More information about our tour is available at http://costaricawhalewatching.com/ Advance reservation is required for groups of 10 or more. Maximum capacity is 100 passengers, plus crew.
Humpback Whales are in Costa Rican waters from January through March and July through December. Other species of cetations are seen year round. Pacific Quest is a member of the Responsible Whale Watch Operators Association.

PREVIEW ITEMS

OTS LeafDONATE AN AUCTION ITEM ONLINE TODAY

As a non-profit organization, all auction donations are considered tax-deductible according to applicable US tax laws.  If you have an item you are considering donating to the auction, please contact Cathleen Lemoine at OTS,  919-684-6969  919-684-6969 , or e-mail cathleen.lemoine@duke.edu.

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Tropical Biology Applications Due March 1

Program in Costa Rica (BIO 134L), Summer
Summer 2010: June 14 – July 13


Biology 134L Field Tropical Biology
Tropical Biology Studentsoffers students the exciting
opportunity to study first-hand the evolutionary ecology of important plant and animal taxa in tropical ecosystems. Course design emphasizes intensive field work and visits all three OTS field stations as well as other sites. Students are thus introduced to a great diversity of tropical habitats, each possessing distinctive biotas that in turn demonstrate unique evolutionary histories and ecological dynamics. As part of the course, students work closely with resident professors in the design, implementation, and interpretation of their own independent research project in field ecology. Independent projects allow students to learn science by doing science in a beautiful and challenging tropical setting. Results are presented orally following the protocol of a scientific meeting. Students also submit a formal research report which becomes part of the permanent records of OTS field stations.

The course concludes with a short unit on conservation biology, including the application of island biogeography to reserve design and management, as well as the impact of deforestation and fragmentation.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive one course credit from Duke University.

Instructors:
Silvana Marten Ph.D.
Apply Now
Oscar Laverde M.Sc.

More Information
· Orientation Materials (127 kb) Acrobat ico
· Syllabus (127 kb) Acrobat ico
· FAQ’s (572.8 kb)
Acrobat ico

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Graduate Course Deadlines

Tropical Butterfly Ecology May 14 – 28, 2010
Application Deadline: February 16, 2010 for priority admission, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.
Butterfly
A two-week immersion course for graduate students engaged in or planning field research on tropical Lepidoptera. The course draws upon the coordinator’s expertise and 30+ years of work on butterfly ecology and evolution in Central and South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, China, Borneo and Australia. Based at La Selva in Costa Rica, topics will include field methods, ecology and evolution of butterfly-ant symbioses, behavioral ecology, mimicry, ecological physiology, quantitative natural history and future directions in this field.

Coordinators:
Phil DeVries, University of New Orleans,
Bruce Walsh, University of Arizona,
Isidro Chacón, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica & INBIO

Details (111 kb)Acrobat ico
Application form (135 kb) Word Icon

Tropical Plant Systematics June 10 – July 13, 2010
Application Deadline: February 15, 2010 for priority admission, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.
Tropical Plants
Offered in even-numbered years, this course emphasizes a strong conceptual foundation in phylogenetic systematics in an intensive field setting. The course travels to diverse habitats around Costa Rica, from cloud forest and paramo to tropical dry forest and Atlantic lowland rain forest. This course is next offered in 2010 followed by another edition in 2012 as it alternates with OTS-18, the Spanish language version of the
course which is offered in odd years. OTS member students have
priority for admission; however students from non-member institutions
are welcome to apply.
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Application form (119kb) Word Icon

Biodiversity of True Bugs (Heteroptera)August 8-22 2010
Application Deadline:March 10, 2010 for priority admission, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.
True Bugs
This two week course is oriented towards graduate students and post doctoral fellows interested in intense field training in the collection, identification and inquiry-based research on the Heteroptera or True Bugs, which are well represented in the highly diverse tropics. Field collection, lab identification, and hands-on research experience on Heteroptera will be complemented by a lecture series on their natural history and classification. This program will enhance participants’ abilities to work on the ecology and systematics of this megadiverse group that includes important disease vectors, crop pests, and natural enemies. The course will take place in wet forest habitat at the La Selva Biological Station, including if possible sections of the Barva transect, as well as in the dry forest habitat and wetlands surrounding the Palo Verde Biological Station.

Coordinators:
Dr. Christiane Weirauch, University of California, Riverside,
Dr. Randall t. Schuh, American Museum of Natural History, New York
Details (216 kb) Acrobat ico
Application form (135 kb) Word Icon

Expanding the Frontier in Tropical Ecology through Embedded Sensors August 16-31, 2010
Application deadline March 15, 2010

OTS PASIWith funding from the National Science Foundation, the Organization for Tropical Studies will conduct a conduct a Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) to introduce tropical ecologists from the Americas to recent developments in embedded sensor networks.

Embedded Sensor Networks offer a powerful combination of distributed sensing capacity and open possibilities for countless applications in ecological research. The frontiers of ecology expand as biologists think of new applications and engineers develop the necessary tools to increase our understanding of how ecological systems work.

Coordinators:
Carolina Murcia
Phil Rundel

Details (724 kb) Acrobat ico
Application form (57 kb) Word Icon


Download the 2010-11 Graduate Course List Now

Previous Graduate Course Books

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Attention Birders!

Upcoming BioCursos Trip: Panamá-Chiriquí Highlands and
Barro Colorado Island in the Panamá Canal

March 1 – 5, 2010

Panama

OTS is offering an exclusive tour for birding enthusiasts into Western Panama and the Smithsonian’s Barrio Colorado Island research station on the Panama Canal.  Organized through the OTS BioCursos program, which provide adult education packages in Costa Costa, this one-week trip starts shortly after the OTS annual meetings to be held this year in southern Costa Rica at Las Cruces and the Wilson Botanical Garden. 

Birding will be the theme of the day

Photo by Merris Mosdaleas the group travels across the border and down into Panama.   Bird enthusiasts, plant lovers, hummingbird and butterfly aficionados — whether you are a part of the OTS boards or part of the friends, alumni or research community — are welcome to join us. Everyone will be thrilled to discover the spectacular biodiversity of the region!  Please see our link for additional information.  Do know, we will be happy to work with you in making your travel arrangements to Costa Rica and Panama. 

Full Description

Lower Price
Cost per person: $1299

Contact Jonathan Giles at  919-684-6188  919-684-6188 or jgiles@duke.edu.

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Knee-deep in Research at Palo Verde


The Palo Verde Station is currently in its third year of a grant for International Research Experiences for Students, sponsored by NSF. Graduate students
in the early stages of their careers have been selected on a competitive basis from educational institutions throughout the United States. Once selected, they spend 10 weeks working with OTS scientists on research projects in tropical biology, such as wetlands restoration, flood control, water usage, and reducing negative agricultural impacts on the region.

Jennifer Bufford Jennifer Bufford (University of Hawai’i Mānoa, top), an IRES (International Research Experiences for Students) participant, and assistant Poling Chan (Knox College, bottom) are measuring the species richness of three different aquatic plant communities, which correspond to different management (fangueo) regimes in the Palo Verde marsh. Jennifer is also monitoring bird use of these habitats and will examine the seed bank and regeneration in the field. The IRES program provides a unique opportunity for graduate students to develop research at Palo Verde.  Poling Chan So far, 12 young researchers have participated in this program.

This IRES project allows OTS to offer an international, collaborative research opportunity to U.S. students at a point in their education when such international mentorship and professional relationships can have the greatest impact on the selection of research questions, research design, study systems, and study locations. The work with local farmers, technicians, and extension agents has a dramatic impact on the entire local community as well as on a wider audience.

For more information, please contact Mahmood Sasa, Palo Verde Station Director at mahmood.sasa@ots.ac.cr.

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