This blog is for a team of teachers to share their experiences as they prepare for and participate in an intensive field study program called ECO-Classroom at La Selva Biological Preserve in Costa Rica
On Saturday, the Space Coast Eco-Geeks got together to take a tour of the Suntree Study Site.
Anita and Tom along with Sarah and Terry from GREAT! met us there.
There has been quite a bit of rain lately, leaving standing water in several of the basins.
The water was full of birds.
So many birds!
We also saw deer, including an 8 point buck.
The team is so excited to begin studying the sight. We are still working through logistical details like permitting and protocols. Ryan went back yesterday and installed three camera traps as part of an initial information gathering phase. I am headed back this evening to check on them and make sure they are collecting data as they should. I also received the two new camera traps funded by my donor's choose grant! Hopefully we can finalize our plans soon and get all the camera traps set up and collecting data.
I just got an e-mail letting me know that my donorschoose project has been fully funded! 7 donors all helped by sending money to help buy 2 more camera traps to start our gopher tortoise study. The final donor was an anonymous donor who reads my quilt blog. She said she also reads my science blog, so if you are reading, thanks to much for helping our project! We are working on a plan to go out and visit the sight this weekend to figure out what needs to be done before we set up our cameras. Good things are happening quickly.
On Tuesday of last week I went to a meeting of the group working to prevent development of the 114 acres in Suntree. They are now calling themselves GREAT! which stands for Greenspace Environmental Advocacy Task Force. I talked about our trip to Costa Rica and how we had gotten training in TEAM protocols which we were ready to put to use to study the gopher tortoises on the 114 acres. As of Tuesday, the land was in the hands of the county and nobody had permission to visit the site with concerns about liability. Anita is serving as our conduit of information and I asked her to request permission for our team to access the sight to begin our study.
Yesterday, she met with county commissioner Curt Smith and he gave us the go ahead to begin our work! Today they had a meeting, and he mentioned GREAT as well as the Eco-Geeks in his report
Follow this link to hear what he had to say. There is a menu which allows you to skip to the end where he mentions us specifically. So now we are ready to start working out the details and get our study moving forward.
This is one of the pictures we took with a camera trap in Costa Rica.
We had 10 camera traps to do our collections while we were at La Selva. Three were borrowed from Conservation International and the rest belong to our group. We are trying to bring that number back up as we start on the next phase of our project. After learning TEAM Network protocols during our trip, we plan to set up a local study of Gopher Tortoise burrow habitation. I have an open Donor's Choose Project to try to buy more traps. Though I was lucky enough to get two more donations in August, the grant proposal expires in just 11 days.