Deadline for ACG open house registration

If you haven’t registered for the ACG open house please do so before March 6.

Click here to see more details and to register.

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Alvaro Ugalde

Don Alvaro Ugalde has passed away. All of us who work in Costa Rica’s national parks and conservation areas owe him a great debt, he was truly one of the giants of conservation in Central America and the Neotropics. He had a particularly important role as an early administrator of Santa Rosa National Park, establishing Santa Rosa in the face of internal and external threats, and was a key ally in establishing the ACG in the 1980s and 90s.

In his own words:

“The Ultimate goal is to maintain Central America as an ecological bridge . . . That of course is a very difficult dream, because it doesn’t depend on us, it depends on every little country in this region. But yes, on a national basis, that is the ultimate dream. How do we keep genes flowing north and south, and evolving? I know it’s farfetched. Not only that, but to try to save every single species in the country, which is also a far-fetched vision. But my feeling is that if you don’t go for the highest, then how will you decide where to go? So we have to go for big, big visions.”

from The Quetzal and the Macaw, by David Rains Wallace.

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ACG Research Open House 2015

We are pleased to invite you to the second ACG Scientific Open House. It will be held at the Horizontes Experimental Forest Research Station of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste on June 2nd and 3rd, 2015. The title of the open house will be “Communicating the value of the ACG.”

The objective of this open house is to share information among ACG researchers and between ACG researchers and ACG staff. We will be organizing both oral and poster sessions, and encourage submissions that describe past work but also emphasize opportunities for future collaboration.

If you or your students are interested in atttending, please get in touch through the link provided below. Please feel free to share the link with others. Our current plans include:
• A poster session for student projects
• Research talks, giving an overview of projects accessible to a general audience
• Talks by members of the program staff of the ACG describing their current initiatives and emphasizing areas of potential collaboration
• Discussion and brainstorming sessions geared towards identifying and describing areas of possible collaboration among groups

To register, please visit the link below. There will be no cost for attending the meeting, however participants will be responsible for food and lodging expenses. We will provide transportation between Santa Rosa and Horizontes and from Liberia to Horizontes on the days of the event.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD AGENDA

Following the meeting on the 4th or June we will hold a meeting of the board of directors of InvestigadoresACG in which we will discuss elections and the organizational budget. This meeting will be open to anyone interested in the future of iACG as an institution or in taking on a leadership role with iACG going forward.
Thanks, please contact us with any questions, and we look forward to seeing you in the ACG!

Jennifer Powers, Jeff Klemens, Cathy Hulshof, y Sal Agosta
Downloadable invitation letter in pdf in english and spanish
flier eng
Cronograma tent. iACG 2015

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Nación article on ACG research

La Nación spotlighted research being conducted in Santa Rosa by the Tropi-Dry team. It includes a great diagram describing the remote sensing technology being used in this effort.

Canopy tower, Santa Rosa (image credit Arturo Sanchez)

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GMOs and Agricultural Viability

Interesting article in Science Magazine on the effect of deploying genetically modified oil palm varieties. On the one hand, the higher yields produced should allow for more production on less land, which would reduce pressure on tropical forests. On the other hand, it may make land which is currently marginal for oil palm production economically viable, increasing pressure on forests.

Did anyone anticipate this? Here’s Dan Janzen in Science Magazine, 1987:.

Tropical wildlands and most of the earth’s contemporary species still exist because humanity has not had organisms capable of converting all tropical land surfaces to profitable agriculture and animal husbandry. Within one to three decades, organisms modified through genetic engineering will be capable of making agriculture or animal husbandry, or both, profitable on virtually any tropical land surface. Agricultural inviability, the single greatest tropical conservation force, will be gone.

Both papers are worth reading in full. The palm oil paper contains a discussion of the global market dynamics for oil crops that complicates the picture even further.

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Thesis Projects at Horizontes

The Horizontes Experimental Forest Research Station would like to invite students to conduct research projects at the station. Although there are many opportunities for research at Horizontes, the station staff have identified the following areas of being of high importance to their mission:

Agroforestry
Sustainable management plans for secondary tropical dry forests in different successional stages (HIGH PRIORITY).

Studies and silvicultural intervention plans for secondary tropical dry forests.

Establishing a baseline monitoring strategy of the secondary dry forests at the station by reevaluating the existing network of permanent plots.

Design of sustainable agroforestry systems in vertisolic soils for the tropical dry forest ecosystems of the Pacific slope of Costa Rica.

Energy
Design of a solar energy generation system to establish self-sufficiency for the Horizontes Experimental Forest Research Station.

Marketplace
Market studies of high-value species (Guanacaste, cenízaro, mahogany, cocobolo, etc) that exist in the Horizontes Experimental Forest Research Station.

Design using plantation-grown precious wood products (Guanacaste, cenízaro, mahogany, cocobolo, etc) that exist in the Horizontes Experimental Forest Research Station.

Community Relations
Socio-economic study of populations in the area of influence of the Horizontes Experimental Forest Research Station.

Economic valuation of environmental services provided by the Horizontes Experimental Forest Research Station

For more information contact:

Lic. Milena Gutiérrez L.
Encargada
Programa de Restauración y Silvicultura
mgutierrez@acguanacaste.ac.cr
Area de Conservación Guanacaste
“Sitio de Patrimonio de la Humanidad”
www.acguanacaste.ac.cr
Tel: 2666 0630 ext 215. Fax 2665 0451

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Rainfall 2014 : The Story so Far

As you can see from the graph 2014 has been extremely dry in Guanacaste. Here’s the rainfall so far – just 702 mm – and the rains are expected to end for the year sometime in the next couple of weeks. Here’s 2012 for comparison, which was itself a dry year. Thanks to Maria Marta Chavarria for the information. (Update: the repository of past ACG weather data is here for comparison, a less up-to-date version is here if the ACG site is down.)
PP Santa Rosa enero a setiembre 2014

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Documentary: Challenges facing Costa Rica’s National Parks

Documentary produced at UNA and featuring several members of the ACG team (in spanish).

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ACG research in the press

ACG-based capuchin research conducted by Amanda Melin, Hilary Young, Krisztina Mosdossy, and Linda Fedigan has garnered some attention in the popular press.

Article in Journal of Human Evolution

Wash U. Press Release (english)

La Nación (español)

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Update: Coffee Talk in Santa Rosa

Tomorrow (Tuesday July 8) there will be an informal research presentation in the PEB classroom, Santa Rosa, at 1 PM. All are invited to attend. For more information contact Cathy Hulshof.

UPDATE: From Géraldine Derroire, PhD Candidate, FONASO Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate programme, College of Natural Sciences, School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography (SENRGY), Bangor University, Wales, United Kingdom

The research presentations that were held recently in Santa Rosa were a huge hit (so were the cacao and mesquite cookies!). Here is a brief summary of the researchers who presented their work:

  • Rolando Ramos Jiménez: Activities conducted by the Programa de Educación Biológica
  • Cathy Hulshof: Taxonomic and functional diversity along an altitudinal gradient in Peninsula Santa Elena
  • Géraldine Derroire: Secondary succession in tropical dry forests
  • Saul Chevez Hernandez and Monica Myers: Ecology, behavior, genetics and physiology of primates in ACG
  • Tim Treuer: Determinants of structure and composition of biological communities in a regenerating dry forest using ultrasonic and audio recorders
  • Christina Smith: Liana diversity and abundance in tropical dry forests of ACG and Palo Verde
  • Leland Werden: Restoration of dry forest on vertisols in Estación Experimental Forestal Horizontes
  • Monica Myers: Phytoestrogens and primate diet and behavior
  • Daniel Perez Aviles: Availability for plant identification needs

Thanks to PEB for hosting us and thank you all for coming! We hope you can join us for future Charlas con Café!

IMG_4898

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