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Devin Lindsley wrote on July 21, 2015 at 11:25 am:
DANTA: Association for Conservation of the Tropics is a great organization that strives for environmental stewardship and educative awareness. I recently finished one of the many field courses DANTA has to offer, Primate Behavior and Conservation, which was a month long course in Costa Rica. Kim and the team from Planet Conservation were awesome instructors. The Piro Research Station that we stayed at was also beautiful and the team/staff there is top-notch. This course has changed my life, and outlook on conservation. I recommend this course to anyone who has a passion for the outdoors. WARNING: After this course you will never want to leave Costa Rica. PURA VIDA
Peter Eby wrote on January 20, 2015 at 9:10 pm:
Attended for the Summer 2014 semester. It was an unforgettable experience. I think about going back to Piro just about every day.
Rose Pidgeon wrote on January 20, 2015 at 7:39 pm:
Joining DANTA for summer 2014 was such an amazing experience. I learned a lot about the amazing biodiversity of Costa Rica through really hands-on learning, and I made many new friends who share the same passions about animals as I do. I really had an amazing time learning, and also being able to go out independently into the forest and working on our own projects. Thanks for a great adventure!!
Adam Abrishami wrote on August 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm:
Words cannot describe this past summer's Primate Behavior and Conservation course. It was an absolutely amazing experience. The things I learned during our time in the Osa Peninsula I will carry for the rest of my life. To actually experience and see monkeys and have a hands-on opportunity to conduct independent research is incredible. I recommend this field course for anyone in any area related to animal behavior and conservation. The friendships I made in Costa Rica will be with me forever. Our instructor, Kim, always kept the course interesting because of her passion in the field. I went to see my Primatology professor after the course to tell him about the course. He said I used the words "amazing" and "awesome" in every sentence. Which is true! If anyone has any questions about the course, or anything related, feel free to email me. I'm eager and happy to talk to anyone about this experience. My email is
Michele Ritchie-Harris wrote on August 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm:
As a parent, I want to share that the Primate Behavior and Conservation Summer 2013 was an absolutely amazing experience for my 20 year old daughter. Once I was assured that she had arrived safely and met by an escort at the airport, I had no worries. The instructor kept updates on the Facebook site (when feasible). The experience was structured yet broad and personalized. I especially appreciated that Victoria came home having a better idea of career possibilities in anthropology, even if it wasn't primates. Her confidence as a traveler and the cultural and educational experiences were definitely worth the commitment! Michele
Mackenzie Smith wrote on March 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm:
I took the Primate Behavior and Conservation winter 2012 course. My time in Costa Rica was unrivaled to anything I had previously experienced. I had traveled to Central America several times (twice to Costa Rica) prior to taking this course, and nothing I’ve seen matched the beauty of the Osa. The wildlife and the rain forest there are just incredible. To have such an enchantingly beautiful place be your classroom is something you can’t get anywhere else, and it is an experience you won’t easily forget. I had an amazing time, built strong friendships, and learned more than I ever imagined I could in three weeks. The knowledge and skills that I acquired through this course have already proven immensely beneficial in a number of classes I have since taken. Learning about primate behavior, plant ecology, and conservation in such a hands on setting teaches you the material and helps you to remember it in a way that you just can’t achieve in a classroom. Kim and Marni are amazing teachers, thank you so much for an unforgettable experience. I loved everything about this program, and would do anything to return to the Osa. I highly recommend this program to all!
Allysa Hallett wrote on March 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm:
Participating in DANTA's winter primate behavior and conservation course is absolutely a cherished experience. The instructors (Marni and Kim) are supportive, enthusiastic and enriching. I learned a lot about myself and working with others with the same interests, gained a better understanding of the biodiversity and conservation related issues of the beautiful rain forests of the Osa (and Costa Rica in general), and am now equipped with an even stronger love for life, biodiversity and conservation. The skills learned during this experience I find highly valuable, for not only is it difficult to find means in which to learn and practice field and conservation related skills (data collection, site mapping, etc.) , but it is an amazing opportunity to be able to apply them immediately after learning them. Through this program, they can even be applied in an amazing setting-one that is opportune in that it allows for full immersion in what we are trying to understand. The biological station is a beautiful place with an incredible amount of life just in view from the front porch of the cabin, the staff are wonderful people, the accommodations were perfect (food-delicious, upkeep). If you are thinking of participating in field studies or further biological/conservation related work, this is an amazing experience that will help you decide if it is the right choice for you. I'm in. And I missed the Osa the moment I left it.
Evan Sloan wrote on February 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm:
When people ask about my experiences in Costa Rica this past winter, the first thing I tell them is that I learned more in my three weeks there than in any semester long class I have taken. There is much to learn from the Primate Behavior and Conservation course and no better place to learn it than in the beautiful natural laboratory of the Osa Peninsula. Beyond information and field experience, few things in life are more incredible than being lulled to sleep each night by the ambient hum of the nocturnal forest and awoken each daybreak to the calls of the birds and howler monkeys echoing through the morning air. The combination of knowledgeable and helpful instructors, a fascinating curriculum, and surroundings of unmatched beauty made this course an unforgettable experience.
Matt Ireland wrote on August 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm:
I took the Summer 2011 Primate Behavior and Conservation Course and must say that it was the most enriching, valuable, exciting, and mesmerizing experience that I have ever had. Every day was a new experience in some sort of primate behavior or conservation. The amount of wealth in knowledge that Kim possesses is vast. If primatology is the field of study that you are looking into for a career, this course should be your first stop to verify your goals. The instructors provide valuable knowledge that is essential in not only primate field study, but any type of field study. It has been a month now being back in the states and I miss the experience so much. I have made some great friends that share the common thread that pulled us all together in the field course, that of saving the primates and learning all we can from them. Thank you Kim for such an amazing experience and one that will live with me forever.
Olivia Henry wrote on August 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm:
This course was the best experience of my life. Nothing beats waking up in the middle of the rainforest with incredible people who share the same interests as you! This course enriched my love for primatology, and my thirst for travel. The lessons and lectures were helpful and gave a very accurate idea of what field work is all about. The guest lectures were amazing, and I will always cherish the opportunity we had to listen to Alvaro Ugalde. Kim is truly a great leader with such enthusiasm for the course and for her students, and for that I am very thankful. Wouldn't change anything about my experience in Costa Rica for the world. If you have any interest in primatology or ecology and a desire to travel and experience new things, do NOT pass this up! Pura vida.
Ben Liptscher wrote on August 9, 2011 at 9:50 am:
The Primate Behavior course was in every way a unique, fulfilling experience that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in primatology, anthropology, biology or ecology. The Piro Research Station and vicinity was beautiful and the abundance of rainforest life provided for daily encounters with things that I had never seen before. The abundance and variety of primate species was superb, I usually saw at least three of the 4 monkey species every day. The guest lecturers were inspiring, and the professors extremely well qualified and accommodating. Overall I was very satisfied with the course and wish I could do it again. I am very happy I had the chance to explore Costa Rica and look forward to the day when I can return, it is a truly beautiful and friendly country.
Rachael Joy wrote on July 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm:
I had a fantastic time on the Primate behaviour course. Truly an eye-opening experience and left me with memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life. For anyone thinking of going into post-grad level field research this course is a must. The guest lecturers were inspiring and the instruction on the course had just the right level of involvement, allowing the students to really get a feel for field research without feeling like we were in a strict classroom environment. I absolutely recommend the course for anyone who is considering field research or conservation as a career. To add to that Costa Rica is an incredibly beautiful and inspiring country. Many thanks to all who made this experience so great for me.
Rachael Joy wrote on July 31, 2011 at 11:26 am:
I had a fantastic time on the Primate behaviour course. Truly an eye-opening experience and left me with memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life. For anyone thinking of going into post-grad level field research this course is a must. The guest lecturers were inspiring and the instruction on the course had just the right level of involvement, allowing the students to really get a feel for field research without feeling like we were in a strict classroom environment. I absolutely recommend the course for anyone who is considering field research or conservation as a career. To add to that Costa Rica is an incredibly beautiful and inspiring country. Many thanks to all who made this experience so great for me.
Shannon Driscoll wrote on July 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm:
The Summer 2011 Primate Behaviour and Conservation field course was the most amazing experience. Definitely the best experience of my life so far. I learned so much about primatology, conservation and myself. Kim was a fantastic instructor and leader for the course. The guest lecturers and speakers were equally fantastic. The students I met in the course are all one of a kind and I made some great friends. I had no experience in primatology before this course and would reccomend it to ANYONE with an interest in biology, primatology aor conservation. It's a great field course that really helps you learn if field work is right for you!
Claire Percoco wrote on July 25, 2011 at 10:24 am:
The Summer 2011 Primate Behavior and Conservation field course has been, by far, the absolute best experience of my life! The course was everything I wanted it to be and so much more! Not only did I learn a wealth of information surrounding primate behavior, field research, and conservation, but I also learned more about myself than I ever though possible! Kim is not only an amazing leader and educator, but also an amazing person who is always there for her students. The other instructors as well as the guest lecturers were amazing as well! They were able to educate us on different subjects within the field, as well as lead discussions and inspire. If you are even slightly interested in primatology or conservation this course is for you! It was a fabulous introduction into field research and it personally changed my life!
Laura Walchack wrote on July 24, 2011 at 6:58 pm:
I attended the Summer '11 Primate Behavior and Conservation field course in the Osa Peninsula.. and let me just say that it was the best experience of my life! I learned more in 4 weeks about myself, primatology, conservation, and what it means to have a career in both, than I ever thought possible. Kim was an excellent leader, and I really learned a lot from her. The guest lecturers were very interesting and inspiring as well... Alvaro Ugalde is a hero! I'm so thankful for the chance to meet him as well as our other guest lecturers, it was an amazing opportunity. Finally, I never knew there could be so many people out there who were so like me. It was awesome to meet people my age with the same types of interests, and I've made some true friends that I plan to keep in touch with. If you are considering primatology or conservation or even just field research as a career, this course will help you to find out if it is right for you. It is an incredible opportunity that I highly recommend!
Willis Orlando wrote on July 22, 2011 at 5:23 am:
The Summer '11 Primate Behavior and Conservation field course was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. The course was challenging, demanding, engaging and a lot of fun. The lectures, both from our instructors and from the guest speakers, were varied and relevant, and sometimes inspiring. The field site was gorgeous and the field trip at the end was an incredible adventure. For those interested in potential careers in primate behavioral studies, this course will show you what it's really like in the field, help you understand how the work is carried out, and help you decide if this career is right for you. For everyone else, this course is a once in a lifetime experience that will leave you inspired and amazed and eager to return to the tropics.
Mickey Pardo wrote on July 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm:
I attended the Summer 2011 Primate Behavior course, and I can honestly say that it was the best experience of my life to date. In addition to learning a lot about primates and the rainforest ecosystem, I got a feel for what it is really likely to do fieldwork in primatology, and it only encouraged me more! Kim is an amazing instructor and really knows how to make a field class with a large group of students work. The guest lectures were fascinating and made the course even more enjoyable. Highly recommended!
Ginny wrote on July 19, 2011 at 6:44 am:
Enjoyed the course a lot! Kim, the other instructors, and the guest lecturers had a lot of valuable advice and information about course content as well as life, careers, and conservation! I was sad to leave Piro, and even sadder to leave Costa Rica when it was all over! This course will definitely tell you if fieldwork is right for you, and you'll meet some great people along the way. I will hopefully be returning to the Osa peninsula when I get a chance- the wildlife we saw was just amazing!
Alan Frankel wrote on June 2, 2010 at 2:21 pm:
Wonderfully illustrated and very impressive of what you do for your students. I've hear about your programs from Kimberly and admire your goals and successes.
Kristan McCormick wrote on January 31, 2010 at 4:34 pm:
I attended the winter 2009/2010 Primate Behavior and Conservation course, and loved it! I would recommend this experience to anyone interested, just go, do it! It’s amazing and you won’t regret it. This was a great introduction to field research, talking about it in a class is one thing, but experiencing it first hand is extremely valuable and an amazing opportunity at the undergraduate level. The DANTA staff was great; they were very knowledgeable, as well as helpful and supportive. I have learned so much about tropical ecology, conservation, myself, along with a whole list of other things.. and met some amazing people along the way! I really enjoyed my time in Costa Rica and highly recommend it to other students.
Jessi Bishopp wrote on January 29, 2010 at 1:06 pm:
The Primate Behavior and Conservation Course was an excellent introduction to the process of doing independent research. I learned a great deal about rain forest ecology, especially plant and tree species, which helped me better understand how primates make use of their environment. The course also emphasized conservation and land use problems in Costa Rica. This aspect of the course had a profound impact on me; since returning to the US I have become involved with conservation groups on my campus and I am striving to live in a more sustainable way. Thanks to everyone from DANTA for a great trip!
Mary Pysnik wrote on January 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm:
I participated in the Winter 2009/2010 Primate Behavior and Conservation course in Costa Rica. I learned so much about tropical ecology and wildlife, in addition to the various conservation issues Costa Rica is facing. Every time I go abroad the experience helps me learn something about myself, and this trip was no exception.
Julia Neustadt wrote on September 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm:
I attended the Summer 2009 Primate Ecology and Conservation Course and I would encourage it to anyone interested in learning more about what it means to study primates. The course was my first experience conducting observational field work and I found it to be an essential supplement to my anthropology coursework. There was a strong emphasis on conservation in Central America, and I found that being in Costa Rica made the challenges faced by conservationists very clear and easy to understand. The instructors really enhanced the learning experience; they were extremely supportive and helpful both in and out of the classroom.
Max Chaoulideer wrote on August 17, 2009 at 7:50 pm:
While I came to the course hoping to learn a lot about primates and their conservation, I learned so much more. I had never worked in the field before, and with this staff, the instructors and the rainforest we were in, the experience was truly fantastic. Everything from the early mornings, the mold and the abundance of insects to the delicious tostones, juices, and other tasty treats... I felt that this course really hond my sense of what it means to carry out a scientific project, and my understanding of the conditions of working in the field also really deepened. Overall, this was a great introduction to field work in the tropics in general, especially to primatology. The mixture of lectures, field time and chill time with the other students was really nice, keeping the pace enjoyable but still intense. I would highly recommend this course, as I think everyone else in our group would, for anyone who wants to get a flavor of the rainforest, primatology, field work, and/or costa rica. Although one sees much more of costa rica's non-human primates than its human population! If you have the time and the money, I can't think of a single reason not to take this course and live in the rainforest for a month, chasing monkeys.