Learning about the rainforest


After a two-year hiatus, this month we were quite happy to receive two groups of the curious and motivated (and very smart!) students of the Gatton Academy.  It was very much a pleasure to help guide these students through their research, and the results are always quite impressive!

The students discuss in groups as part of a climate change presentation.

This month we were also delighted to receive CFCA board members Valerie and Ken, as well as friends and supporters of Cloudbridge Mark Greenfield and Jane Hartline.

Looking back on last year´s blog for January, we had shared the excellent news of our successful fundraising campaign to build a research lab and an architectural rendering of the proposed building.  It is with great pleasure that the above image looks very similar to the architectural rendering, but it is real and being well-used!

Researchers and volunteers

Though our researchers and volunteers are kept pretty busy with their various projects, they can also occassionally enjoy the morning sun, as Finlay is doing here.


My name´s Ben, I am from the UK and I am a research intern here at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve. I am currently here as part of my placement year at Plymouth University, where I am studying Zoology. I have only recently begun collecting data for my research project involving flycatcher birds and their perch times. This will be a 6-month long project hopefully resulting in conclusive evidence surrounding the most common flycatchers here at cloudbridge and their individual perching and sallying behaviour. I came to Cloudbridge to obviously enjoy the beautifully diverse Costa Rica but also gain a good feeling of what it’s like to be a researcher for a sustained period of time. This has been a great experience so far, as along with designing and beginning my own research project there are many other things going on at Cloudbridge such as camera traps, herbarium projects and weekly night walks and birding surveys that I have been and to take part in. Super fun. ?

My name is Dani, I’m Filipino-born and from Australia, and I’m volunteering at Cloudbridge for three months with my partner, Michael. We are traveling the world for a year and looking for inspiration and purpose. We are passionate about conservation, reforestation and love nature and animals. We came to Cloudbridge to learn but also to contribute and give our time and skills in any way that helps. During my time here, I’ve really enjoyed bird watching, learning field skills, and most especially, about reforestation and about the different plant species here in Costa Rica. I will be working a lot with the trees in the reserve, such as helping to identify new seeds and propagating them. Apart from that I’ll be helping researchers and other staff members with anything that can add a positive impact to Cloudbridge and its mission of preserving this beautiful reserve.

Hi I’m Michael, I’m from Sydney Australia and am volunteering at cloud bridge for 3 months with my partner Dani. I’m passionate about the environment and want to take this time learn about reforestation and pick up some new skills along the way whilst giving back. We’re traveling for a year seeking inspiration to create a new path that’s more aligned with nature and the environment and we’re finding that here. During our first week we saw some beautiful animals on the many trails here and heard presentations on birds, climate change, trees and camera trapping which were all great. We liked our first week so much we extended our stay by 6 weeks.

Hi! My name is Emma and I’m from Italy. I came to Cloudbridge to do the internship of my Master degree in Sciences and Management of Nature, University of Bologna.
I’m mainly focusing my research on the comparison of biodiversity between two different vegetation types, but I’m also helping in some ongoing projects such as camera trapping, bird surveying and the herbarium. I feel very blessed to be able to slow down and to spend some time in contact with nature. It is a very peaceful and deepening experience, while always learning something new! ?☀️

Hi! My name’s Kathleen and I’m from Canada. I came to Cloudbridge in January in order to learn more about environmental conservation, and experience the biodiversity of a climate so different from the one I’m used to back home. As a research assistant, I’ve been helping out with various different projects, particularly camera trapping and gathering plants for the herbarium. So far it’s been a very rewarding and educational experience! I’d recommend Cloudbridge to anyone looking to spend more time in nature while learning about a unique ecosystem ☺️

Studying the tropical Cloud Forest

Suggested Reading

  •  As many of you who have come through Cloudbridge will recognize, human health and well-being is a central theme of our conversations around climate change.  Climate activist Bill McKibben highlights this relationship in this article.
  • The link between climate change and human health is also strongly visible in the creation of new administrative positions such as Sierra Leone´s «Heat officer», Eugenia Kargbo.
  • Continuing this theme of health and well-being, we would like to mention the long-running Harvard study on human development, which this month published research affirming that relationships are vital to human happiness and longevity.
  • Because humans learn and communicate in different ways, we have sadly been stifling the potential and development of people who learn in ways that are not in line with our current educational model.  Temple Grandin is one of these people who has struggled to learn in traditional settings and is now conducting fascinating research into visual learning and other ways in which people acquire and retain information. 


2 comentarios en «Learning about the rainforest»

  1. Please post a link to the Bill McKibben article.
    Beautiful and informative monthly post, but shouldn’t it be entitled “cloud forest” instead of “rainforest?”

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