For a second year, students travel to Costa Rica for environmental efforts

September 10, 2016 — by Kitty Huang and Sanjana Melkote
costarica

Seniors Danielle and Daviana Berkowitz, along with their sophomore sister Khiara Berkowitz, worked in conjunction with science teachers Kristen Thomson and Matt Welander to plan the trip to their native country.

From appreciating Costa Rica’s natural beauty and picturesque sunsets to releasing baby turtles on the Osa Peninsula, 16 students had the chance to experience environmental conservation on a 6-day trip to Costa Rica from Aug. 31 to Sept. 5.

Seniors Danielle and Daviana Berkowitz, along with their sophomore sister Khiara Berkowitz, worked in conjunction with science teachers Kristen Thomson and Matt Welander to plan the trip to their native country.

After doing the trip for the first time last year, the Berkowitz family spent the past summer in Costa Rica, working out the logistics and adding new activities to the trip.

“We worked with the ministry of the environment, foundations, wildlife reserves and the private sector in Costa Rica for almost a year,” Danielle said.

Last year, the students worked hands-on with marine turtles on the Caribbean coast; this year, the group explored the Osa Peninsula, helping marine turtles on nesting beaches. The data gathered by the group will eventually be used for further research by other organizations.

For many students, the trip was a fun way to travel the world and engage in conservation activities outside of the classroom. According to senior Grant Guzzo, who has been on the trip for the past two years, the trip felt “really fulfilling [because] I was doing something meaningful, not just for the U.S. but for the world.”

After Danielle and Daviana graduate this year, Khiara plans on taking over the trip preparations.

“If enough people sign up next year, I definitely want to be able to continue this trip to get students from Saratoga to experience the Costa Rican way of helping the environment,” Khiara said.

 

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