Since its inception in 1992 the Rainforest Project has been a demonstration project of sorts, researching different ways to highlight the tremendous value of an intact rainforest - both biologically and economically. Once people realize that it pays to leave forest intact and use its resources intelligently, a major step has been taken towards its preservation. In addition, it is also critically important to understand these complex ecosystems as best as we can; it is very difficult to ensure that habitats, plants and animals can continue to function if we don’t know what they require to do so. Perhaps the most exciting thing about this project is that it is driven primarily by the same young people who will be the future stewards of our environment.
The Rainforest Project’s study area is a complex of private rainforest reserves in northeastern Costa Rica (SelvaTica and Rara Avis), bordered by the Braulio Carrillo National Park. Every year for the past 19 years, a group of 12-14 students travels to this remote rainforest area and sets up camp in Rara Avis for almost two weeks. Students and staff study the area’s biodiversity and research sustainable non-timber resource projects that can provide local people with alternatives to deforestation or destructive agricultural practices.
This unique hands-on biology course is based out of The Forman School in Litchfield, but also involves high school seniors, juniors and staff of the local public high schools (Litchfield High School and Wamogo Regional School). The program currently emphasizes five research topics: migratory birds, tropical moths, rainforest stream ecology, amphibians and reptiles, and arachnids.
Rainforest Dissertation Day
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Location: Johnson Arts Center
The Forman School
12 Norfolk Road
Litchfield, CT 06759
8:35- 8:50 Multimedia Slide Show
8:50- 9:15 Tropical Moths
(Matt Pelow and Lilly Perlstein)
9:20- 9:45 Spider Silk
(Megan Blair, Ariel Blouin, Nicolas Manzella)
(Second showing of Multimedia Slide Show)
10:35-11:00 Tropical Reptiles and Amphibians
(Vince Hastings, Walker Miller, Brandon Turner)
11:05-11:35 Volcanic Stream Ecology
( Collin Felton, Dominique Dimaria)
~Lunch in Peirce Dining Hall~
12:35-1:00 Migratory and Tropical Birds
( Faye Curran, Matt Markelon, Chris Moran)