Santa Rosa Rainfall Update through July 2015

Total rainfall so far this year compared to years since 1979:

Rainfall by month 2009-2015:
Monthly rainfall since 2009

Click for (higher resolution) pdfs of the yearly and monthly figures. Data and figures prepared by María Marta Chavarría Díaz.

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A different perspective on the Nicaraguan canal project

Richard Condit takes a different view of the Nicaraguan Canal project in PLOS Biology


Biologists have raised objections to a new canal in Nicaragua, but in this Essay I argue that dire predictions of environmental catastrophe are exaggerated. I present an alternative view based on my research experience in Panama, where Canal operations foster forest conservation. Currently in Nicaragua, the rate of forest loss is so rapid that the canal cannot make it worse. Rather, I contend, adoption of international standards in canal construction could lead to net environmental and social benefits for the country.

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Information and Forecast re: Severity of the Current Drought

This pdf contains summary information:

It seems like much of the information comes from the CRHH:
Logo, comite regional de recursos hidraulicos

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OTS Strategic Plan 2015-2020

IACG members and collaborators: Although the mission (and scale) of OTS are different from ours, it’s worth taking a look at their newly released strategic plan, linked here in English and Español.

Articulating specific goals, initiatives, strategies, and outcomes over the medium and long terms is an important next step for IACG.

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Interview with Jennifer Powers

Jennifer Powers and Milena Gutiérrez at the IACG open house in Horizontes

Jennifer Powers was interviewed regarding the 2015 IACG open house.

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Communicating the Value of ACG, InvestigadoresACG Open House 2015


Attendees of the 2015 IACG Open House at Estación Experimental Forestal Horizontes

On June 2nd and 3rd, 2015, over 80 biologists, students, journalists, and ACG and SINAC personnel gathered at the Horizontes Experimental Forestry Research

Station for the second Investigadores ACG open house, titled “Communicating the Value of the ACG.” The meeting featured 17 talks, a dozen posters, and a tour of ongoing field projects at Horizontes led by director Milena Gutierrez. Horizontes was truly the star of the show. Many people got to know the Horizontes Experimental Forestry Research Station and its impressive facilities for the first time. Many more gained a much deeper appreciation for the breadth of active research, restoration, and outreach efforts that have taken place there as well as the many ongoing projects.

The importance of a site that is tightly connected to a conserved wildland, but in which manipulative research can be performed, was emphasized over and over again and visitors saw first hand both the internal and outward-looking benefits of this association. Internally, the existence of Horizontes allows for models of management to be explored and tested outside of the confines of the national park. To the world outside of the protected areas, Horizontes is dedicated to developing the knowledge, the techniques, and even the raw materials for the development of forestry as an economic activity in the dry lowlands of Costa Rica. The combination of restoration and forestry, separate missions sharing a common research foundation, makes Horizontes a unique research site with Costa Rica.

Several talks and activities directly related to the theme of “Communicating the Value of the ACG.” During work group sessions participants worked in teams to develop “value propositions” that the ACG offers to different user groups, using the tools of the Business Model Canvas to move beyond thinking about products and services and into thinking about how particular products and services create user value. This theme of expanding the influence of scientific knowledge beyond the realm of academic science was also emphasized by talks from various ACG programs. Members of the Biological Education Program (PEB) described their efforts to systematize the procedures that they have developed over their history. The Ecotourism program described their initiative to create new trails and interpretive centers in Santa Rosa and Rincón de la Vieja. Roger Blanco of the investigation program spoke on the theme of “Biodesarrollo,” and recapped the history of ways in which the ACG has created new value in both local and global communities.

Another ACG initiative that was highlighted was the “Virtual Encyclopedia” or digital repository of the ACG. Participants were presented with the current state of COPA, the working name of the ACG repository. and were walked through some of the ways in which we expect that this resource can facilitate interactions among ACG  researchers, between researchers and ACG staff, and between the ACG community and the broader local and global user communities of the ACG. During this session we were also introduced to the new communications office of the ACG that is tasked with helping to create and maintain a culture of information sharing.

Finally, the Open House was rich in opportunities for face to face networking. One of the great strengths was the diversity of ongoing and past projects in the talks and posters. Participants built up their personal networks, identified opportunities for future collaboration, and learned more about the physical, human, and intellectual resources that currently exist within the ACG.

Taken together, these activities served to strengthen the network that is at the heart of the IACG mission. Furthermore, we formed a number of new connections with the attendance of researchers and SINAC employees from other Conservation Areas. In the future we hope that by harnessing their perspectives we can broaden the reach and utility of IACG. IACG was always meant to be a set of techniques and technologies that could be exported to new contexts, hopefully the outcome of this meeting represents a first step in that direction.

Download the complete report

Talks, Slides and Videos:

Avances de estudios fenológicos en cortéz amarillo (Handroanthus ochraceus) y el árbol de Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum) Jorge Arturo Lobo Segura- Universidad de Costa Rica video 

Cadena trófica de las bromelias en un clima cambiante Diane Srivastava, Sarah Amundrud y el Bromeliad Working Group - University of British Columbia video 

Diversidad y función de plantas en los Cerros de la Península de Santa Elena Catherine Hulshof – Universidad de Puerto Rico Mayagüez

Cultivo de especies nativas, una estrategia sostenible de conservación Olman Murillo, Yorleny Badilla, Gustavo Torres, Dorian Carvajal, Rodolfo Canessa – Escuela de Ingeniería Forestal Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica video 

Biodesarrollo del ACG a través del conocimiento científico  Roger Blanco Segura – Área de Conservación Guanacaste video 

Monitoreo a largo plazo del bosque natural del Parque Nacional Guanacaste: estudio sobre dinámica y composición Luis Gustavo Hernández Sánchez – UNA INISEFOR video 

Sistematización del Programa de Educación Biológica,1986-2015: Bioalfabetizando mediante experiencias en una biblioteca natural  Gabriela Gutiérrez Ruiz y Pablo Vazques Badilla – Área de Conservación Guanacaste video 

Incendios forestales e indices de vegetación Mauricio Vega-Araya – UNA INISEFOR video 

Dinámica del temperamento ecológico de tres estadios sucesionales de bosque natural en tres sitios del Parque Nacional Guanacaste William Montero Flores – UNA INISEFOR video 

Proyectos de organización turística y mejoras en la oferta del ACG: Casos Rincón de la Vieja y Santa Rosa Juan Carlos Carillo – Area de Conservación Guanacaste video 

Memorias de investigación del Parque Nacional Barra Honda. Un análisis general de los avances y acontecimientos más recientes Eduardo Artavia Durán – Projects Abroad video 

Murciélagos del Parque Nacional Barra Honda Oscar Cubero Vázquez – Projects Abroad

Natural regeneration during secondary succession in tropical seasonally dry forests Geraldine Derroire – Bangor University video 

Experiencias y aplicaciones de la restauración de bosques en ACG Milena Gutiérrez – Area de Conservación Guanacaste video 

Baseflow, serpentinization, and life: a review of geochemical and hydrological processes within the ACG region Ricardo Sánchez - Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica

Conservación del Tiburón toro (Carcharhinus leucas) en el Pacífico Norte de Costa Rica Andrés López G. - Asociación Misión Tiburón

Construyendo una enciclopedia de ACG: Federico Matarrita - Usematics video 

Dinámica de los ecosistemas forestales de bosque seco en Costa Rica y su impacto en las poblaciones de abejas nativas: protección de polinizadores y plantas hospederas asociadas Henry Mauricio Sánchez Toruño - UNA INISEFOR

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Science and the US National Park System

This editorial in Science about science and the National Park System (NPS) in the US touches on some familiar themes:

The NPS can support this scientific engagement with parks. Data sharing and data accessibility for external scientists (including the NPS robust inventory and monitoring data sets) should be increased. The research permit process can be streamlined and made more consistent across the system. Long-term studies should be encouraged, with park staff (including NPS scientists) as collaborative partners. In addition, opportunities for citizen science—including the widely popular BioBlitz programs that bring young people out to the parks—should be expanded.

The use of parks for basic research can also contribute to “usable knowledge.” High-quality science is needed to inform complex decisions about issues such as the future of wolves on Isle Royale, the establishment of marine reserves in the Dry Tortugas, and the prevention of habitat fragmentation and species loss in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. There is a strong and positive feedback loop between “parks for science” and “science for parks.”

The 2016 centennial of the NPS comes at a critical time for science and conservation, in the United States and worldwide. As both the gathering at Berkeley in 1915 and the conference earlier this year remind us, science and parks are indispensable to each other. Let’s make the centennial a celebration of science and the national parks.

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Video Tour of Horizontes

As part of the IACG 2015 open house, participants toured the Horizontes Experimental Forest Research Station. We created a short video in which director Milena Gutierrez describes some of the long-term research projects at Horizontes and ACG researchers Leland Werden and Bonnie Waring describe their current Horizontes-based research.

(Note that you can activate english captions by clicking on the “CC” button in the bottom of the player.)

Horizontes Tour, InvestigadoresACG open house 2015 from Sustainability in Motion on Vimeo.

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Wilderness First Aid / Wilderness First Responder courses in Monteverde

ACGer Frank Joyce is helping to coordinate Wilderness Advanced First Aid and Wilderness First Responder courses in Monteverde in late July.

Download the brochure here, which includes details on dates and cost, as well as information on how to register.

For general information on the WAFA/ WFR courses visit Wilderness Medical Associates International.

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IACG 2015 Photo Album

Enjoy these photos of the IACG 2015 open house while we prepare the final report, which will contain a complete listing of talks and activities. We couldn’t get the live streaming running, but we do have videos of the individual presentations which we will link to the report. Thanks to everyone who participated.

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