The La Suerte Biological Research Station is located in northeastem
Costa Rica, Central America. The station is composed of 700 acres of
tropical lowland habitat located 3-4 kilometers from the Rio La
Suerte. Rio La Suerte is a beautiful flowing river with primary and
secondary rainforest trees and vegetation growing along its banks. The
river traverses Tortuguero National Park and the Barra Colorado Nature
Reserve. The area is rich in wildlife including over 100 species of
Neotropical birds and mammals. Three species of nonhuman primates
inhabit the area including the white-face capuchin monkey (Cebus
capucinus), the mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata), and the
spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi).

The Research Station and surrounding farm were purchased by the Molina
Family in 1987. Since that time the Molinas have become concerned with
preserving the natural heritage of Costa Rica and are involved in
establishing the La Suerte Biological Research Station for the
exclusive use of scientific research, education, and conservation. This
year the Central America Conservancy for Primate Studies is sponsoring
a field school at the Research Station. The field school offers
undergraduate and graduate training in primate biology and behavior
and, tropical ecology. The course is designed as a "classroom in
nature" and will provide each student with hands-on experience in
designing, conducting, and writing up the results of individualized
research projects. Daily lectures, exposure to real examples of
animal-plant interactions in the tropical rainforest, and assigned
readings challenge the students intellectually and provide them with
the problem-solving skills and academic background needed to begin a
meaningful study of animal behavior and tropical ecology. Our goals are
to motivate students to pursue important issues of science,
environment, and conservation, and to foster a love of inquiry,
exploration, and learning about their world. This is accomplished by
having the students as active participants in Science.


The course is organized along a multidisciplinary framework that offers
an alternative to the traditional classroom setting. Three 1-month
field courses will be taught during the Summer of 1995 (May 20-
June 18; June 20-July 18; and July 20-August 15) and each course is
expected to have an enrollment of 10-20 students. There will also be
a 3-week Winter 1994-1995 Course taught from December 27-January 18 (we
will make every effort to accomodate students who have to return to
their universities prior to January 18). Students live and work
together and participate in both group and individual projects.
Extensive contact with teaching and research faculty provides an
atmosphere of discovery and creativity. Students become part of a
scientific research study, with inforrnation collected during the field
course serving as part of a continual and long-term data base on the
ecology and natural history of the plants and animals of the La Suerte
Biological Research Station.


We have defined the following long-term goals for the Central American
Conservancy/La Suerte Biological Research Station:

1. Use education as a tool to teach and inform students from all parts
of the globe about the concerns of conservation and the need to protect
tropical rainforests and the natural heritage of our planet
2. Develop a plan for protection and conservation of the fauna and
flora of La Suerte Biological Research Station
3. Construct an accurate list of bird and marnmal species present at
the site
4. Examine the effects of forest fragmentation on biodiversity and
community ecology
5. Examine the diet and feeding ecology of 3 primate species
6. Examine the role of birds and primates as agents of seed dispersal
and forest regeneration
7. Examine the kinds of information capuchin monkeys use in making
foraging decisions, in particular the use of spatial information and
sensory cues

For information on the Summer Courses contact:
Dr. Sian Evans
DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests
14805 S.W. 216 Street
Miami, Florida 33170
(305) 238-9981
FAX (305) 235-4253