Day 1: Travel Day
- Depart for Costa Rica – arrive in the afternoon and transfer to the University of Georgia San Luis Ecolodge. Evening Orientation program.
Day 2 – 4: The Source – Monteverde and the San Luis Ecolodge
- Our beautiful eco-lodge is nestled into a valley below theMonteverde Cloud Forest. Our campus provides classroom space, a lab and hiking trails through the mountains.
- Over the next three days we will join researchers at the Monteverde Institute to participate in authentic science research and data acquisition in the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
- Each day students will enter the Cloud Forest working side by side with a different scientist.
- One evening students will take part in a night hike to observe nocturnal species. Students will also get a unique perspective of the cloud forest canopy with a high flying adventure on zip lines. Much of our work in Monteverde will relate to the budding forest sister relationship between the Monteverde Cloud Forest and the Estes Institute in Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Potential areas of study include; Hydrology – Study of Water and Water Quality; Botany – Study of Plants; Ecology – Study of Bio Diversity and Ecosystems; Herpetology and Entomology – Study of Amphibians and Insects; Ornithology – Study of Birds.
Day 5: Transfer to the Sea – Northern Pacific coast
- We will enjoy our final day of programming in Monteverde. In the afternoon, transfer to the northern Pacific Coast. Settle into our hotel and enjoy some beach time.
Day 6-8: The Sea – Connect Oceans Marine Science
- The next three days we will participate in the Connect Oceans Marine Awareness program. We will explore the mangrove estuary’s on kayaks, snorkeling amongst the coral reefs and a deep sea ocean exploration looking for giant Manta Rays, Sharks and other amazing marine wildlife.
- Through this program, students will walk away with some unforgettable experiences in the ocean environment and a deeper understanding of Marine conservation issues.
Day 9: Beach Time
- Enjoy a free half day of hanging out on the beach with friends before we depart for San Jose. Enjoy a final evening dinner reflecting on our adventures through Costa Rica.
Day 10: Depart for home
- This morning we have a little extra time to tour historical San Jose, visit a market or some other options that your group leaders will determine later.
- Depart for home with a deeper understanding of tropical and marine ecosystems and stories that will be with us for a long time to come.
Day 1: Arrive in Phoenix
- Depending on flight arrival and group interest, we will have several educational stops to choose from as we make our way north to Flagstaff; Montezuma Castle National Monument—a well preserved cliff dwelling; Sonoran Desert and desert ecology; Slide Rock State Park with swimming in Oak Creek Canyon on naturally formed slides; Cathedral Rock—a great place to stretch your legs and hike around the natural red rock formations.
- Evening Astronomy program at Lowell Observatory.
Day 2: Grand Canyon Exploration
- Early departure for the Grand Canyon!
- Hike down in to the canyon through the layers of planet Earth’s history (hike adjusted to ability, approx. 3 hrs).
- Drive along the south rim of the Grand Canyon stopping at panoramic vistas and visit the famous Cameron Trading Post.
- Drive through the Painted Desert before arriving in Page, Arizona.
Day 3: Glen Canyon Dam and Colorado River
- Start the day with a tour of Glen Canyon Dam, one of several dams on the river that help store water for 36 million people.
- Later we depart for Lee’s Ferry which was the only wagon train crossing site within 700 miles. Here we will meet our boats for an upriver trip to our camp site on the Colorado River.
- This evening we set up camp, explore and participate in a science service project.
Day 4: Paddling the Colorado River
- The next day we paddle down stream in paddle rafts and boats keeping our eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, wild horses, lizards, and peregrine falcons.
- We will also assist with ecological monitoring programs designed to inform managers on the ecology of the river.
Day 5: Final day on the River
- Pack up camp and head out to enjoy our final morning on the river.
- After lunch on the river, return to Phoenix.
- Final evening program before departing the next morning.
Note: Groups in the Midwest or East fly the red-eye or depart early the morning of day 6 (depending on flight availability)
Day 1: Arrive Great Falls, MT
- Transfer to ranch for evening orientation
- Activity: Landforms and Geologic History of the Rocky Mountain Front and Glacier National Park
Day 2: The Rocky Mountain Front Ecosystem
Full day of activities at the 6,000 acre Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch.
- The Rocky Mountain Front Ecosystem – ecological components, management, and future
- Wildlife of the rocky Mountain Front Ecosystem
- Animal tracks and signs
- Ranch management and service on the ranch
- Tools of the trade – introduction to radio telemetry use with grizzly bear management, bear trapping, bear research
Day 3: Glacier National Park
- Full day exploring Glacier National Park
- Hike to Grinnell Glacier – phenological changes and climate change
- Wildlife Watching tour – moose, elk, bear, wolves and many small mammals and birds
- Citizen Science – monitoring Pika, Mountain goats and/or plants
- Evening program with Blackfeet historian
Day 4: Open programming – choose one of the following themes
- Blackfeet history and culture. Visit various historical and cultural sites, visit with Blackfeet historians, service work in the Blackfeet community.
- Paleontologist for a day – learn about the dinosaur discoveries along the Rocky Mountain Front and work at an active dig uncovering dinosaur fossils
- Service day – spend the full day giving back. Participate in a variety of citizen science projects such as water quality monitoring, bird surveys, plant surveys, fire science, weed management. And/or assist with land management – remove fencing, pulling noxious weeds, repairing trails
Day 5: Depart for home
- Final morning activity before departing for home
Additional activities and extensions:
- Three day and two night backpacking trip
- Whitewater rafting on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River
- Lewis and Clark in Montana
Day 1: Arrival
- Arrive in Miami
- Everglades National Park guided natural history tour.
Day 2: The Florida Everglades
- Everglades National Park wildlife and aquatic studies.
- Sea kayak in the mangroves – ecology and wildlife surveys.
Day 3: Ocean Study
- Coral and Sea grass ecology lab and field study.
- Fish counts and habitat rehabilitation projects.
Day 4: Sea Turtles and Key West
- Tour Sea Turtle Hospital Rehabilitation and Conservation Program and facilities.
- Spend the afternoon/evening in Key West – the southern most tip of the continental U.S. and home to Ernest Hemingway.
Day 5: Mangroves and Departure
- Sea grass or Mangrove rehab project.
- Depart for home.
Day 1: Arrival
- Arrive Belize city and transfer to our field station on South Water Caye.
Day 2: Snorkeling and Study
- Introductory snorkeling on sea grass beds and patch reefs.
Day 3: Marine Science
- Marine plankton and encrusting communities studies.
Day 4: Dolphin and Coral Reefs
- Bottlenose Dolphin, crocodile and/or coral reef studies.
- Lab and snorkeling.
Day 5: Mangroves
- Mangrove study.
- Visit the Smithsonian Research Station on Carrie Bow Caye.
Day 6: Tropical Ecology and Zip Line
- Cockscomb Basin National Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Study of tropical ecology plants and wildlife.
- Cave tubing and zip line.
Day 7: Service Project
- Service project or visit the Tropical Education Center at the Belize Zoo or visit a Mayan cultural site.
- Depart for home in the evening.
Day 1: Arrive Seattle
- Visit Seattle Aquarium
- Evening orientation on water quality and urbanization impacts on Puget sound.
Day 2: Whidbey Island
- Whidbey Island conservation and wetland restoration program.
Day 3: Agriculture Study
- Tide pooling study and sustainable agriculture study and stewardship projects.
Day 4: On the Water
- Experience Puget Sound ecology and history aboard a 133 ft. wood-hulled Schooner built in 1913.
- Marine Mammal observations and monitoring.
- Evening program with biologists and conservationist.
Day 5: Puget Sound
- Puget Sound Clean-up project.
- Dinner, reflection and time in Downtown Seattle’s Waterfront.
Day 6: Departure
- Sustainable fisheries at Pikes Market.
- Depart for home.