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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
  • Sociological study on impact to agricultural reform by recent farmers’ sale-off of their own government-handed personal plots, with emphasis in Guanacaste ricelands
  • 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)
  • 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 or monkey 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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Jacob Brenner, Department of Environmental Studies and Science, Ithaca College My semesters in Costa Rica with ACM were probably the most formative period in my life. My career as a geographer is largely made possible by perspectives on real life in another country that I gained during that year. The fall Latin American Culture program made me a Latin Americanist and the spring Field Research program made me capable of doing field research. I can't think of another experience, career-wise, that has had a greater influence. I am deeply indebted to my gracious host family for this, as well as to the broader ACM community for maintaining such a rich and stimulating social atmosphere over the years.

—Jacob Brenner, Department of Environmental Studies and Science, Ithaca College, Costa Rica 1999-2000

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