Select Page

Front Row: Orlando Vargas (guide in Costa Rica). Second Row (L-R): Kalene Miller ’19, Caeley Robinson ’20, Allie Perrin ’21, Gilli Skidmore ’20 and Jackie Lamica ’20. Third Row (L-R): Grettel Fonseca (host at Las Nubes Field Station); Sarah Bell ’21;  Katie Doyle ’20; Amanda Gagnon ’20 (graduate student); Joshua Russell, PhD, assistant professor of animal behavior, ecology and conservation; Jamie Feinstein ’19 (graduate student) and Alisa Marks ’21.

Eight undergraduates from the Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation (ABEC) program and two graduate students in the Anthrozoology program recently returned from a two-week field course in Costa Rica. The course, taught by Assistant Professor of ABEC Joshua Russell, PhD, highlighted human dimensions of wildlife conservation. After two days in the capital of San Jose, hearing from guest speakers and visiting bio-cultural museums, students traveled to a remote eco-campus in the cloud forest to engage in research, cross-cultural outreach and sustainable development work. The final part of the trip took the group to the Pacific coast to visit national parks and an Indigenous community to learn about Costa Rica’s wildlife conservation laws and land treaty policies. Along the way, the group saw dozens of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. The course runs every other year in August, when students return to Canisius in the fall to develop podcasts for their final project. For more information on the next trip, contact Dr. Russell at

Submitted by: Joshua Russell, PhD, assistant professor, ABEC