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Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities

San José & field sites, Costa Rica

Michael McCoy

Areas of expertise

Control of Agricultural Damage by Wildlife Species, Wetland Ecology and Rehabilitation, Tropical Dry Forest Ecology

Degrees

  • B.Sc. in Wildlife and Range Management, Humboldt State University
  • M.Sc. in Wildlife and Range Management, Humboldt State University

Potential student research areas

  • Follow up study on tourist boat impacts to waterbird colony of Bird Island of Tempisque River, Puerto Humo
  • Manual roto-tilling impact of contaminated beach sand for improving hatching rate for Olive Ridley mass-aggregate nesting turtles, Ostional
  • Rates of bacterial and fungal infections in differing sectors, depths of sand of aggregate nesting area for marine turtles (ideal for microbiologists)
  • Harvest techniques and Population characteristics of harvested Pacific lobsters from small-scale fisherman of the Tarcoles Cooperative
  • Confirmation of sexual maturity associated with size of harvested fish species from small-scale fisherman of the Tarcoles Cooperative
  • Sociological study on impact to agricultural reform by recent farmers’ sale-off of their own government-handed personal plots, with emphasis in Guanacaste ricelands
  • Sociological study of the Bagatzi Womens’ Group working on community-based ecotourism and especially with their hand-made cattail paper project
  • Behavioral foraging study of Jabiru storks in irrigated rice fields in Guanacaste (or approximately 20 other species of waterfowl)
  • Testing of repellents against rice grain stink bugs in irrigated ricelands of Guanacaste (ideal for those interested in agriculture)
  • Economic study of pros and cons of the CoopeTarcoles small-scale fisherman organization, Tarcoles, Costa Rica
  • Small-scale rice farmer attitudes on benefits received from the 8-yr old Rice Corporation
  • Small-scale rice farmer opinions on their present needs in Guanacaste
  • Waterfowl ecology in irrigated rice fields of Guanacaste
  • Impact of recent electricity-producing windmills on bird mortality
  • Impact of high-tension power lines and transmission towers on bird mortality
  • Ecological and economic impact of sugar cane cultivation expansion in Guanacaste

Biography

Mike McCoy was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and he hunted and fished in nearby areas, which led to his studies in wildlife management.  Graduating from Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA in 1975 with a double B.Sc. in Wildlife and Range Management, Mr. McCoy entered Peace Corps that year to work in agricultural research project with the Agricultural and Livestock Ministry in Costa Rican highlands.  Then he taught wildlands management, wildlife seminar and wildlife management courses at the University of Costa Rica. In 1980,  Mr. McCoy was hired to teach wildlands and wildlife management course in Environmental Sciences School (EDECA) of Universidad Nacional of Costa Rica, then in the M.Sc. graduate program in wildlife management in the same university, which he helped cofound with C. Vaughan. He has participated in about 70 M.Sc. thesis committees.  Mr. McCoy and C. Vaughan coedited the international scientific journal, Vida Silvestre Neotropical, from 1993 to 2005.

Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities

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Lisa Naughton, Associate Professor, Geography Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison My ACM semester in Costa Rica forever changed me and deepened my understanding of tropical ecology and Latin American society. I enrolled in the semester to fulfill my dream to “be Jane Goodall.” Thanks to the guidance and mentoring of my ACM field biology professor (Dr. Chris Vaughan), I did indeed spend two months studying squirrel monkey behavior. I loved the research, but after witnessing rapid deforestation and uncontrolled tourism development, my career interests shifted. From that semester on, I pursued a career in applied conservation research, mainly in tropical countries.

—Lisa Naughton, Associate Professor, Geography Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Costa Rica, Spring 1984

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