Genesee Community College Offers Immersion Trip to Costa Rica

Genesee Community College will offer a true, hands-on learning experience in the spring of 2011 with an immersion trip to Costa Rica to study the Central American rain forest. The tour is open to all students as well as community members who are interested in learning and studying the ecology and conservation methods of Costa Rica.

Genesee Community College will offer a true, hands-on learning experience in the spring of 2011 with an immersion trip to Costa Rica to study the Central American rain forest. The tour is open to all students as well as community members who are interested in learning and studying the ecology and conservation methods of Costa Rica. Participants will have the chance to earn college credit while learning about ethnobotany, elementary botany, ecology and earth science during this nine-day ecological tour.

The tour is led by Genesee biology professor Maureen Leupold, who has traveled to and studied the rain forests of Costa Rica on two previous college trips. Students who enroll, will earn three college credits while studying the stunning ecological terrain of Costa Rica, including volcanoes, rain forests and beaches. Participants will travel throughout the country exploring various plant and animal habitats, experiencing the vibrant cultural traditions of the Costa Rican people and discovering how inhabitants of this diverse country are conserving and protecting their ecological wonderland.

The study tour starts in San Jose, the capital and cultural center of Costa Rica and continues on to the Arenal Region where students will visit a biologically diverse theme park, an active volcano, natural hot springs, biological research station and waterfalls. The tour will continue on to Monteverde where students will visit an ecological reserve, explore rain forests, plant trees, view a canopy tour of a rain forest and attend a lecture. Participant will also experience the Central Pacific Coast and the Manual Antonio National Park. The tour closes in the Puntarenas region where students will visit a coffee plantation before returning to San Jose for their departure home.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the students here at Genesee Community College,” professor of biology, Maureen Leupold said. “We strive to offer these types of hands-on learning opportunities for students at the community college level. This ecological and conservation tour is true experiential learning at its finest.”

Students enrolled in the tour for college credit will register for BIO114 and be graded on a daily trip journal they are required to keep while on the tour, as well as online exams, a major research paper, oral reports, and discussions both online and in person. The course and immersion trip is in the distance learning format in which course material will be available online throughout the spring semester. Participants on the study tour will meet for a pre-departure seminar one month before the tour.

The Costa Rica immersion trip will run March 9-17, 2011 and is open to all community members interested in studying the ecology of the Costa Rican rain forests. Seats are limited to the first 24 participants. The cost for this tour is $2227 which includes airfare, with an optional insurance fee of $135. Participants who enroll for college credit in BIO114 Rainforest Biology will also pay the appropriate tuition fees for full or part time enrollment.

For further information on cost, registration and details, please contact Maureen Leupold at 585-343-0055 x6394 or maleupold@genesee.edu .

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