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CSC faculty promote 2015 capstone class and trip to Costa Rica

May 5, 2014

Arenal Volcano, shown here, will be one destination during the Chadron State College nine-day trip to Costa Rica in 2015. Arenal Volcano, shown here, will be one destination during the Chadron State College nine-day trip to Costa Rica in 2015.
A student points toward a sloth in a tree while visiting INBioParque in San Jose, Costa Rica, in 2006. The popular ecological park will be included in the 2015 CSC trip. A student points toward a sloth in a tree while visiting INBioParque in San Jose, Costa Rica, in 2006. The popular ecological park will be included in the 2015 CSC trip.

"Howler monkeys. That’s why you don’t need an alarm clock in Costa Rica.”

This advice came from Dr. Mike Leite, professor of physical science, when he addressed a group gathered last week to learn more about a CSC trip planned for spring break of 2015.

The trip to Costa Rica is part of the Essential Studies six credit hour capstone course CAP 469A titled “How to Save the Rainforest." The course can also be taken for three credit hours as either Geo Science 435 or Political Science 401.

Dr. Robert Knight, associate professor and chair of the communication and social sciences department, will lead the trip with Leite.

The group will land in the capital city, San Jose, and cover many regions of the country in nine days. Planned stops include INBioparque, the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica, which offers visitors an interactive introduction to the ecology of the entire country in one location.

It was a popular venue when Leite and the late Dr. Ron Weedon took 10 CSC students to Costa Rica in 2006. Photos taken during that trip show a wide variety of plant and animal life including armies of leafcutter ants common in Costa Rica.

The active Arenal Volcano near La Fortuna and agriculture operations producing coffee, chocolate and bananas will also be on the itinerary. Trip members will stay overnight at the Arenal Volcano Observatory Lodge.

“This trip offers CSC students an opportunity for engagement, critical thinking, and a chance to integrate knowledge from other classes, putting it to use. We will focus on how humans contribute to or detract from sustainability,” Leite said.

Information about sustainability will be gathered using a variety of methods from conversations with people to measurements of palm trees. Students will also study the growing eco-tourism and entrepreneurial sectors of the country’s economy. Leite said 25 percent of the country’s land has been set aside for preservation.

A conservative estimate for airfare, ground transportation and lodging is $2,500 with lodging accommodations ranging from spartan to posh. Several half-tuition waivers are available to qualified students who apply.

Students interested in the course and trip should contact Leite at mleite@csc.edu or 308-432-6377 or Knight at rknight@csc.edu or 308-432-6284.

—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator

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