What is next for UGACR’s Virtual Classroom Series?

This is Part 3 of a three-part series by Alex Wright on UGACR’s Virtual Classroom series. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Moving forward, we’d like to see the Virtual Classroom series shown in every high school/middle school Biology classroom. We want every kid leaving school having a better understanding of the natural world, becoming global thinkers, but most importantly, craving adventure, unleashing their curiosity, and exploring the world. We’d love to create a Spanish-speaking version of the Virtual Classroom series to allow the same educational experience to the children living in these areas, and find avenues to foster connections between schoolchildren from both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking countries. We want every kid across the planet to have the ability to become a global leader and invoke positive change.

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 Night 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.

Who started UGACR’s Virtual Classroom Series?

This is Part 2 of a three-part series by Alex Wright on UGACR’s Virtual Classroom series. Click here to read Part 1.

A project like the Virtual Classroom series takes a lot of work. Kristy Densmore (former UGA Costa Rica photojournalism intern) should really take most of the credit for this project. She directed, produced, and filmed every Virtual Classroom video. She turned a crazy, labor-intensive idea into something we could all be proud of. Every video was written and dictated by a member of the UGA Costa Rica intern group, including Roxann Vistocci (former UGA Costa Rica naturalist), Katie Lutz (former UGA Costa Rica naturalist), Matt Carroll (former UGA Costa Rica naturalist), Alexa Stickel (former UGA Costa Rica naturalist), Marley Connor (former UGA Costa Rica water quality intern), and Phillip Barnette (former UGA Costa Rica moth intern). We have to thank both Kristy Densmore and Kathryn Ingall (both former UGA Costa Rica photojournalism interns) for film editing. We had invaluable guidance and insight from Sarah Ross (President and Director of the Wormsloe Institute), Dr. Kris Irwin (Senior Public Service Associate at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at UGA), and Dr. Quint Newcomer (Director of UGA Costa Rica).

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 Afternoon 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.

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.

Monday Top 5: UGACR Virtual Classroom Videos

This week we’re bringing you our favorite Virtual Classroom videos! These were produced by the extra special 2013 cohort of Resident Naturalists, with the technical expertise of photojournalism intern Kristy Densmore. Each video covers a different topic in a few short minutes. They are fun, educational,and proof that we have the best Resident Naturalists ever! Want to see more? You can also search “UGA Costa Rica Virtual Classroom” on Youtube or visit our page.

In this short video Freelance Naturalist Alexa Stickel tackles the subject of Nocturnal Predation.

2013 Resident Naturalist Alex Wright does an excellent job giving a brief Introduction to Interdependent Relationships.

Resident Naturalist Katie Lutz gives us tons of fun facts about The Cecropia Tree.

Water Quality Intern Marley Connor presents a great run-down of Water Quality in the Bellbird Biological Corridor.

Finally, Katie brings it home with a super cool lesson on Bats!

Well that’s all for now. Make sure you check out our Youtube account for more Virtual Classroom videos and for the other fun videos we post!

Virtual Classroom: Water Quality in the Bellbird Biological Corridor

Check out another installment of our virtual classroom videos with our water quality intern, Marley Connor, as she talks about monitoring water quality in the watersheds of the Bellbird Biological Corridor and the role that she plays in recording base line data in the area.

Video: Kristy L. Densmore, photojournalism internRead More »