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Displaying items by tag: community science
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 15:03

Costa Rica 2019

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Costa Rica 2019: Charismatic Megafauna!

We are excited to offer an eco-travel expedition to explore the amazing biodiversity and unique cultural history of the Republic of Costa Rica! With the largest percentage of protected areas of any country and plans to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021, the New Economics Foundation rated Costa Rica as the greenest country in the world. The wildlife in Costa Rica is also extraordinary - did you know that Costa Rica is home to as many as 225 mammals and 913 species of birds?

Speaking of wildlife, this is the Urban Ecology Center’s first time leading a trip to Costa Rica in the summer to take advantage of two magical wildlife spectacles:

First, we will be witness to the breeding grounds of Humpback Whales that spent the winter near Antarctica and are now returning to tropical waters to give birth to the calves that have been developing inside them all year.

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Second, we will be present along the Caribbean Coast during the sea turtle nesting season as they return to their natal beaches to give birth. These are two natural events you will not want to miss!

And when we’re not looking for these two wonders, we’ll explore the amazing natural areas and biodiversity that bring visitors from around the world, while also looking into social and economic forces that contribute to some of the best examples of sustainability on a national level.

Reserve your spot today!

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Can you spot the crocodile in this shot? Photo: Global Water Forum

When

August 1-12, 2019 (12 days, 11 nights)

Highlights

  • Tortuguero National Park during turtle nesting season: a unique area where the primary avenues of exploring are the many naturally-formed canals through primary rainforest. This area was preserved primarily to protect sea turtles and jaguars.
  • Tirimbina, an 850-acre, mid-elevation rainforest with a strong focus on environmental education.
  • Visiting Arenal: volcano, hot springs, and a chocolate tour (what more could you want?!)
  • Whale watching tour at Marino Ballena National Park
  • Wilson Botanical Garden, to see one of the largest plant collections on the world
  • Visiting the Paramo, the highest elevation tropical ecosystem

Itinerary

  • Click here for a sample of our itinerary!

arenal volcano blog size

Arenal Volcano, where you'll relax in hot springs, enjoy a chocolate tour, and more!

Cost

$2595.00 plus airfare (double occupancy)

Come along to Costa Rica! Click here to reserve your spot.


If you are interested in this trip, have questions, or would like more information, attend our upcoming information session or contact Tim Vargo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (414) 964-8505


The Urban Ecology Center Eco-travel program offers a unique way to explore local and international destinations while exploring issues around sustainability. Your participation supports the Urban Ecology Center’s mission.

Top photo by Carlos Roberto Chavarría

Tuesday, 20 November 2018 15:55

Nashvilles in November?

You may have noticed that bird walks comprise the majority of community science opportunities at the Urban Ecology Center this time of year. And while our species counts may look closer to the temperature these days (if we’re lucky), there are still discoveries waiting to be made. Last week both our Menomonee Valley and Riverside Park bird walks found something we’ve never found before: a Nashville warbler in November!

Wednesday, 10 October 2018 15:38

A gift of an American Beaver skeleton

Late last February, we received an email from a community member about a beaver found dead in Riverside Park. This news was especially disheartening to us considering the near celebrity status the Milwaukee River Greenway beaver couple had gained not only publicly, but amongst staff. We had watched the activities of the beavers in Riverside Park for nearly five years and enjoyed hearing the stories from other staff and community members about their encounters.

Thursday, 09 August 2018 13:25

Native Plants to Know: Leadplant

Those who prefer instantaneous beauty or plump plants may give up on leadplant (Amorpha canescens) well before it reaches "maturity" at 5+ years of age, but the patient gardener will be rewarded with decades of drought resistant silvery foliage and purple flowers.

Monday, 16 July 2018 14:12

Collaborating to Conserve Bats

The Urban Ecology Center’s Research and Community Science program surveys about 30 different types of wildlife, including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. This amounts to an estimated 300 field research surveys per year! Among all of this, one project in particular stands out as being part of almost every single work day this spring and summer: acoustic bat monitoring.

A good researcher performs many roles — observer, record keeper, historian and the like. But one of our favorites is storyteller. You may have heard about how the UEC heals the land through thousands of hours from land stewardship volunteers and staff pulling nonnative plants, planting natives and preventing erosion. Often the results of these efforts are easy to see.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 16:01

Secret Lives

As I look longingly over the Menomonee Valley river basin currently radiating with spring promise, I am reminded of last week’s bitter rain and our dashed hopes of seeing the season's first Red-winged Blackbird. But spring’s sweet whispers delivered on the high note of a cardinal’s song today again brought hope that spring was still on its way.

But, what if we weren’t driven by hope but by some kind of undeniable intuition or reverberating internal awareness? How does a wild animal adapt during an unpredictable Wisconsin winter?

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:17

Once you’ve read Fabre, you’re never alone

I’m not a professional scientist. But animal stories, biographies of scientists and works of natural history have always been my favorite reading material. Since childhood I’ve been nourished by the prose of ones who observe, measure and count; imagine and experiment. I still have natural history books I acquired as a child. One of them is Animal Behavior from the Life Nature Library series. It was published in 1965; presented as an introduction to what the editors of the time called the “infant science” of ethology. 

If you’re familiar with the term lifelong learning, the idea is that the desire to learn about the world remains strong with people who aren’t enrolled in a course at an institution of higher learning. Here at the Center we’ve previously offered college-level courses in Tropical Ecology and Plant Systematics, and now we’re excited to announce a course in Conservation Biology.

Thursday, 27 July 2017 10:15

A New Inhabitant In Riverside Park

Occasionally the Research and Community Science team has a find so cool that we can’t stop ourselves from sharing it. Back in 2006 I started a mammal monitoring project at Riverside Park to document the park’s population, and recently we recorded the most glorious find I have ever experienced at the UEC!

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