What's a Field-based Learning Seminar? FBLS FAQs

What's a Field-based Learning Seminar? FBLS FAQs

Curious about our Field-based Learning Seminar but still have questions? Or maybe you're wondering what exactly a Field-based Learning Seminar is? We sat down with specialty travel consultant Lisa Palmese-Graubard to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about our summer FBLS program.

What is a Field-based Learning Seminar?

A field-based learning seminar (or FBLS) is basically a short, action-packed workshop designed to introduce participants to the incredible learning potential that educational travel can provide. If you've never brought students to Costa Rica, are unsure if you could effectively run a student travel program, or just want to learn about the rainforest from an educational perspective, this is the trip for you.

What are the main goals of the program?

In addition to learning about tropical ecosystems and ongoing conservation efforts in Costa Rica, you'll learn how a field experience could impact your students in and out of the classroom. You'll also get to brainstorm with other educators on topics such as fundraising, curriculum integration and hands on learning projects.

What are some of the program highlights?

Some of the highlights are collaborating with fellow educators to share practical classroom applications, learning first-hand about tropical bats, observing red eyed tree frogs, toucan, macaw, basilisk lizard and monkey up close in their natural habitats, and whitewater rafting on the Sarapiquí River. Oh, and don’t forget the howler monkey wakeup call each morning!

What are the accommodations like?

You’ll be staying at Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve. The rooms are set in blocks of four and accommodate one to four guests with two double or queen beds. Each room has a desk, clothing rack, ceiling fans, and private bath with solar heated water and double sinks. Verandahs surround each block of rooms, and offer ample wildlife viewing. The lodge is located on the Sarapiqui River, in the small town of Chilamate in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica. The lodge is owned and operated by Holbrook Travel and was a pioneer among Costa Rica’s eco-lodges.

Where is Chilamate located? 

About 1.5 to 2 hours north of San José.

Can I earn professional development credit for attending?

After the program is over, you'll receive an official certificate of completion for 24 contact hours of field work.

What kinds of animals might I see in Costa Rica?

Sloths, agouti, caiman, several types of poison dart frogs, red eyed tree frogs, iguanas, Basilisk lizards, toucan, macaws (scarlet and green), amazing leaf cutter ant colonies at work, monkeys… too many to list! The FBLS is at Holbrook’s eco-lodge and private reserve, Selva Verde, located right in the middle of the rainforest. It’s amazing!

What will I learn about Costa Rican culture? Will I get to try any cultural activities?

A visit to the SCLC will allow you to learn about the rural community of Sarapiquí and its inhabitants and participate in an interactive cooking class where you will learn how to make a traditional Costa Rican meal. The class is led by a local community member who is more than happy to answer questions and give a glimpse into life in a rural Costa Rica town.

What kinds of projects does the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center coordinate to educate the public about preserving the environment?

The SCLC believes that successful conservation must benefit local people. Following a global trend that is a reaction to simply fencing local people out of national parks and private reserves, this new conservation approach seeks to include local people as allies and partners in sustainable development and habitat protection. The SCLC is working with the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor to plan for and promote environmental education about the Chilamate section of this effort. The SCLC plays a coordinating role in promoting environmental education and outreach related to the Chilamate corridor. This new biological corridor will seek to link currently protected forested areas through positive incentives for rainforest protection, reforestation, and alternative land uses such as sustainable agriculture and ecotourism.

I have other questions. Who can I ask?

Contact Lisa Palmese-Graubard at lisa@holbrooktravel.com or 800-451-7111.