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.

Seeds of Change Bioinformatics High School Research Program - Connecting Science Students to Leading Edge Technologies

Blaser et al, 2016

Students learn to use microbial genetics to conduct scientific inquiry
Seeds of Change Costa Rica Family Homestay - Cultural Connection - Improve Your Spanish!
3-Day Homestay
Seeds of Change Bioinformatics - High School Science Inquiry in Costa Rica
Integral to all Science Fields
SOC Bioinformatics Science Fair Research Poster
Science Fair Ready


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/or sea turtle capture, data collection, and release research. 


IMG_2867 (1)
IMG_2867 (1)


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

UGA food
UGA food


Host Amenities:


The Biology Station and the Soltis Center are two campuses SOC uses to house bioinformatics programs. The Biology Station is in Monteverde whereas the Soltis Center is near the Arenal volcano and La Fortuna. 


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


Students stay in groups of 3-4 students within earshot of chaperones.

Host Site: UGA - Costa Rica

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