Costa Rica Trip Summer 2020

Informational Meeting: Tuesday, September 24th, 6:00 p.m., High Marks Center
The Seeds of Change Costa Rica trip will embark on a science-driven experience to a research site three hours outside of Liberia, Costa Rica in late May. While at this site, students will be immersed in a tropical rainforest research program focusing on leaf cutter ants. In addition, students will be exposed to various topics including ecotourism, conservationism, organic farming, and rainforest ecology. Understanding the dynamics of the leaf cutter ants has been an ongoing effort by Dr. Cameron Currie of the University of Wisconsin for the past decade. Under the umbrella of the work done by Dr. Currie and Dr. Adrian Pinto from the University of Costa Rica, these students will participate in a research effort to not only generate discoveries relating to these ant colonies, but also to propel the high school students understanding and knowledge of tropical field research to a level typically not possible until far into the university level biosciences. The students will gain an understanding of how nature can teach us things that otherwise would take place years into a university-level curriculum.
Upon their return home, the students will present their research. Seeds of Change will also provide letters of recommendation that the students may use for future applications (for college, etc.). If the students want to further their experiences with Seeds of Change, there are second-year opportunities to study sea turtles (typically in January) and another summer program focusing on bioinformatics.
If you would like further information, Seeds of Change has a wonderful website or you can contact Cynthia Smith at
Quotes from past attendees:
“During this research program in Costa Rica, not only did I develop skills in science, but also saw the possibility of another life. For the first time, I experienced zip-lining, horse-back riding, hiking in the forests, and sleeping on the beach. Although challenges existed, there was more excitement and satisfaction along with them. Try to jump out your safety zone and reach this nature by yourself!” -Caroline Mao
“Traveling to Costa Rica with Seeds of Change was easily the best experience of my life. I learned more than just science — like how to make friends, how to work with new people, adjusting to a new environment, and even how to ride a horse Western style! I’m so proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone so I could experience this amazing trip.” -Gracie Blandford