Immersion Program

Lead Scientist provides background for the day’s research activities

Bioinformatics Research

Seeds of Change seeks to train young bio-science students in comparative microbial bioinformatics to give them a leg up in this burgeoning field. Bioinformatics has emerged as the primary tool used in life science research, yet there has been a “continuing deficiency in this essential expertise…fueling demand for bioinformatics training across all educational levels and career roles” (Attwood, 2017). Seeds of Change aims to fill this need in as many young bio-scientists as possible.

Students study microbial bioinformatics because microbes are central to all environments on the planet, drive biogeochemical cycles, and perform functions vital to all life forms through symbiotic relationships. 

This field will be the driving force behind future bioscience jobs
as more research uncovers the correlations between DNA anomalies, diseases,
life span, plant attributes, and microbial invasions.

Blaser et al, 2016

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Overall Itinerary:

 

Students arrive at Liberia or San Jose airport.

 

They travel by van to Monteverde or La Fortuna (7 days) for the bioinformatics research immersion program.  

 

Students finish in El Jobo (3 days) on the northwest Pacific coast for ray and sea turtle capture, data collection and release research. Students and chaperones participate in home-stays with families
(2-4 students per family) in homes that are all within shouting distance.

Off-site Adventures:

 

Each day participants get a healthy break from science to do nearby breathtaking activities like: 

  • Hiking to waterfalls, exceptional bird watching and potential sloth and monkey sightings

  • Zip-lining through and (way!) above the forest canopy

  • Horseback riding 

  • Local plantation tour

  • Night hike with naturalist

Host Site: UGA - Costa Rica

Host Amenities:

 

CIEE and the Soltis Center are campuses located in San Luis near Monteverde and near Arenal volcano and La Fortuna.  

 

The campuses provide for all our needs. There are multiple large classrooms with superb internet (needed for bioinformatics research), laundry service (for a fee), a library, and large dining area. The kitchen staff routinely adapt to diet preferences (gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian to name a few) and allergy-related requirements. 

 

Students stay in cabins (3-4 students) within earshot of chaperones.

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Registration:

 

Seeds of Change gathers students from one or multiple schools or home-school situations to form a bioinformatics group. 

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