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NMSU professor to give presentation on Costa Rica Study Abroad course

New Mexico State University?s Center for Latin American and Border Studies will host a talk on the experiences of a tropical field ecology course in Costa Rica featuring professor William Gould at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at the Nason House, 1070 University Ave.

A group of men and women stand and kneel in front of a sign.
Tim Wright, biology associate professor (fifth from right), and William Gould, economics, applied statistics and international business professor, teamed up to teach two courses on tropical biology and led 10 New Mexico State University students on a trip to northern Costa Rica in March. (Courtesy photo)

Gould, Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business Department professor, will present ?Team-taught Course Introduces Students to the Tropical Forests of Costa Rica? based on his partnership with biology professor Tim Wright that taught 10 NMSU students tropical ecology and occupancy modeling.

?In 20 years, this was the most rewarding teaching experience I?ve had because the students aren?t going to forget this experience anytime soon,? Gould said. ?As a graduate student 20 years ago, I took a forestry and agroforestry field course in Costa Rica organized by Organization of Tropical Studies. It changed my life, and made me want to travel. Since that time, I have been to 13 different countries, but this is the first time I was able to pay it forward by teaching a course to 10 NMSU students.?

The duo conducted a faculty-led international program that visited two field stations in northern Costa Rica for 10 days in March.

The students studied tropical ecosystems and recent methodology for modeling presence and absence of animals before heading to Costa Rica. Students were responsible for developing proposals for collecting data. While in Costa Rica, the students collected data for occupancy modeling at two different forest types, wet and dry.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit clabs.nmsu.edu.