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Experiential Learning

High School Field Program in Costa Rica

Hiking in the rainforest, walking the midnight beaches, snorkeling in the oceans.

Working hands-on with wildlife, learning about ecology, conservation and sustainable development with old friends and new friends.   

Highlights from our 2022 program 

Sea turtle biological monitoring - data collection, tagging, track analysis, nest relocation and excavations, and hatchery care.


Regenerative agriculture. 

Installation of bird houses.

Installation of camera monitors in rainforest and image analysis. 

Wildlife Partners & Collaborators: Osa Conservation, Coprot, Latin American Sea Turtles, Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology, Alturas Rescue Center, La Cotinga Biological Station  

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Osa Peninsula, Pacific Coast, Costa Rica
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022
Caribbean Coast Program: 2015

A uniquely designed five day program in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica which contains 2.5% of the entire biodiversity of the planet on less than 1% of the earth's total surface area. Over a five-day period, students from California and the local Osa city of Puerto Jimenez socialize and work together to help protect the ecosystems in one of the world's most biodiverse and beautiful places on Earth.


Students develop skills in field research while contributing to scientific monitoring efforts on the nesting beaches and in the oceans to protect endangered sea turtles and to help retrieve data from video camera monitors to study the bio-diversity of terrestrial mammals deep in the rainforest. Students make their dent in the Osa by helping the local farmers and naturalists to plant tropical flora in the rain and mangrove forest, habitats and ecosystems to the fauna with which they monitor.


By interacting closely with the local friends and naturalists in the coastal and rainforest community, students learn firsthand the many challenges- cultural, political, social, logistical, economic and ethical -- of conservation efforts.

Students from Costa Rica & California talk about their experiences on NNI field programs:

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2018, 2019 Partners & Collaborators: SINAC-MINAE (Ministry of the Environment), Osa Conservation, Corcovado Foundation, ACOSA, Lapa Rios, Latin American Sea Turtles, Stanford University Woods Institute/ INOGO, Saratoga High School

Collecting biometric data during in-water study 

Mangrove Reforestation


Mural painted by students at a local school


Sea Turtle Excavation 

Thank you to our amazing teachers! 

Mr. Orre

Ms. Thomson

Mr. Welander

Thank you to Guido Saborío
Biologist, Ministry of Environment, Costa Rica 
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