Costa Rica Field Training Itinerary

May 11: San José
Upon arrival at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, after clearing immigration and customs, we meet our guide and driver.  Individual flights need to arrive by 2:00 p.m.  Group members arriving at later times will miss the INBio visit and hotel shuttle will be arranged as needed.  Depart for INBio to learn about their work with GIS.  The National Biodiversity Institute (INBio) of Costa Rica is a private research and biodiversity management center, established in 1989 to support efforts to gather knowledge on the country’s biological diversity and promote its sustainable use. The institute works under the premise that the best way to conserve biodiversity is to utilize the opportunities it offers to improve the quality of life of human beings.  INBio is a non-governmental, non-profit, public interest organization of civil society that works in close collaboration with different government institutions, universities, the private sector and other public and private organizations, both within and outside Costa Rica. This evening we will have an orientation to get to know our guide, group members, GIS and the amazing country that ill be our home for the next week.  Dinner at hotel tonight.  Overnight at Buena Vista Hotel (D)

May 12: Chilamate
Early morning departure with box breakfast for Poas volcano, hopefully arriving in time before the daily fog rolls in!  If we are lucky, we will see the spectacular view before departing for Selva Verde, located in the lush lowlands of north central Costa Rica.  Here you can learn the fascinating principles for protecting the intricate balance of nature in the world’s rapidly diminishing rainforest.  The lodge is located on a 500-acre private tract of primary and secondary tropical rainforest located on the Rió Sarapiquí.  Conservation of the rainforest was a major reason for the establishment of the reserve in 1985.  You will learn about the unique ecosystem of the rainforest, and its flora and fauna.  Introduction to the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center this evening.  Overnight at the Selva Verde Lodge  (BLD)

May 13-16: Chilamate
Each of the next five days will involve data research collection and monitoring projects utilizing the GIS software and GPS equipment alongside trained experts in both GIS and the Costa Rican rainforest.  Following breakfast each day, we will walk over to the Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center, or SCLC, where our research will be coordinated.  The SCLC is located adjacent to Selva Verde along the Río Sarapiquí, the SCLC is a non-profit organization founded to preserve and improve the cultural integrity of the rural Costa Rican community of Chilamate.  The SCLC is dedicated to programs that foster education, environmental conservation, artistic expression, and responsible tourism.  The Center provides an ideal hands-on environment for activities that support community self-development and supplement indigenous cultures while encouraging cultural exchange.  The mapping of the Sarapiqui region is an extremely beneficial project for the people of the region, as well as a vital component of sustainable development.  Thus, our project activities will involve the instruction and assistance of local community educators and members.  Overnights at the Selva Verde Lodge  (BLD)

May 17: Arenal
After an early breakfast we wrap up our GIS work this morning.  After lunch at Selva Verde we embark on our journey to Arenal, arriving in time to relax at the hot springs of our hotel.  Student presentations to the group and volcano viewing after dinner.  Overnight at Arenal Paraiso (BLD)

May 18: Arenal/San José
Participate in a thrilling zipline activity and skytram canopy tour this morning.  Lunch is in the charming town of La Fortuna, not far from the foot of Arenal Volcano.  Continuously active since 1968, Arenal is young as volcanoes go – only about 4,000 years old – and relatively small at 5,358 feet.  The volcano’s eruptions can be an awe-inspiring sight, especially at night.  Short periods of inactivity are usually followed by the emission of hot, red rocks that crash down the steep gray slopes of the volcanic cone.  The explosive eruptions can plume up to 1,000-feet into the air and can easily be heard more than a mile away.  Depart for San José and the Buena Vista Hotel.  Farewell dinner tonight at our hotel.  Overnight at Buena Vista (BLD)

May 19: Depart
Today we are transferred to the Juan Santamaría International Airport for flights home.  (B)

Land Cost per person:  $1614
Cost does not include international airfare
$800 estimated from Salt Lake City
Call for a fare from your departure city

Rate is based on double occupancy with 14-20 participants.  With 21 participants the cost will be $1514 per person
Single rooms available for an additional supplement of $195.
Program Includes: all in-country transportation, accommodations, an expert guide, meals and activities as stated in the itinerary.
Program does not include: international airfare, additional activities, beverages, gratuities, and the $26.00 Costa Rica airport departure tax.  Estimated airfare from Salt Lake City is $800
Payment:  In order to secure your space on the trip, a $200 deposit and completed enrollment form is required no later than 120 days before departure (Jan 11, 2008).  This deposit is refundable until 95 days before departure with the exclusion of a $100 cancellation fee.  Final payment is due 95 days prior, on or before Feb 6, 2008.  Within 95 days moneys are non-refundable.  Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.  For more information about insurance coverage, see or call .  Holbrook’s Agency number is 15849

Roger Palmer teaches high school chemistry, physics, and environmental/field science at Bishop Dunne High School in Dallas, Texas.  He holds an M.S. in Chemistry and conducts research with students in the use of GIS to model integrated approaches to environmental problems.

Anita Palmer was a high school technology teacher and has recently completed her M.S. in geography with an emphasis on GIS in education, focusing on integration of GIS technologies throughout the curriculum.  She is one of the three authors of the first GIS curriculum book for the 6th to 12th grade world geography classroom, as well as a new community based GIS book highlighting student research in the field.

Dorleen Jenson is an Assoc. Prof. of Geosciences at Salt Lake Community College where she is the GeoScience/GIS coordinator and teaches geography education.  She also serves on the board of the Utah Coalition for GIS in Education and is active in the Utah Geographic Information Council and GIS community.