What is UGACR’s Virtual Classroom Series?

If you have ever visited the UGA Costa Rica YouTube page, you have likely come across our Virtual Classroom videos. But, do you know what the Virtual Classroom series is or where the idea originated? We have dedicated this week’s three-part series to Alex Wright, one of the masterminds behind the Virtual Classroom series, as he shares the initial vision for the series and where he would like to see it go from here.

For Resident Naturalists, living and working in Costa Rica is an incredible life-changing experience, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have that opportunity. We wanted to share our tropical experiences and learning with students from all over the world using our “virtual classroom” platform. Our main goals were not just to promote tropical biology, but also foster a culture of global awareness amongst the students. This goal aligns with UGA Costa Rica’s mission to advance understanding―through instruction, research and outreach―of the interconnected nature between human and environmental systems, particularly the concepts of socio-cultural, ecological, and economic sustainability. We identified an opportunity to demonstrate our relationship with our surroundings in Costa Rica to people all over the world who haven’t even been to Costa Rica through these videos. The videos were designed to be three separate segments following A Day in the Cloud Forest; with a morning hike, afternoon hike, and night hike. Today, we will look at the Morning Hike video segments.

Photo credit: Kristy L. Densmore.  Species: Cane toad (Rhinella marina; formerly Bufo marinus)
Alex Wright with a cane toad (Rhinella marina; formerly Bufo marinus)
Photo credit: Kristy L. Densmore.

About Alex Wright: Alex first visited UGA Costa Rica in 2011 as part of the Tropical Watershed Management program. He then returned in November 2012 as a Resident Naturalist at UGACR after completing his B.S. in Ecology at the University of Georgia. Alex worked as a naturalist on campus until December 2013. Currently, Alex is pursuing his Master of Science degree from the Warnell School at UGA as part of a collaborative research effort aiming to develop an adaptive landscape planning and decision framework to be implemented by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to make better state-wide land management decisions for the conservation of gopher tortoise populations.

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