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First BioAlfa School Project Is Underway!


GDFCF Science Advisor Roberto Fernández (in the background, right) and Dos Ríos students work together to set up the Malaise traps. Photo by Adriana Alvarado.

After several years of planning, the first BioAlfa project in the Costa Rica school system got underway on February 28, 2023. The project, a collaboration between GDFCF, the Área de Conservación Guanacaste Programa de Educación Biológica (PEB), the Costa Rica Ministry of Education, and the Costa Rica Ministry of Environment and Energy, is located at the Liceo de Dos Ríos in Alajuela Province. The school is on the border of the ACG rain forest. On February 28, GDFCF Science Advisor Roberto Fernández helped students and teachers at the high school set up Malaise traps, which are tent-like structures that are effective for capturing flying insects. Once captured, the students will be in charge of collecting the insects. The insects will be stored in freezers and eventually shipped to the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics at the University of Guelph, Canada, where they will be DNA barcoded. The students will analyze the results and compare them to local sample specimens that they have kept. It is a very hands-on approach to helping the students learn about the biodiversity in their rain forest backyard. The project has been funded by the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund, the Wege Foundation, the Donald Comb Legacy Fund, and private individuals. We are thrilled to see the project get underway!

Dos Ríos students help erect the Malaise traps. Photo by Adriana Alvarado.