Capacity building for different target groups:

Transfer of knowledge and the development of skills to conduct research in the fields of ecology and conservation are important components of our project. The implementation of the project has allowed the involvement of local students from the countries where the project is being implemented. Up until now, two master students (BRA; and two BSc students (ECU) successfully completed their thesis research in the context of our project.  Furthermore, five BSc (CR, ECU), two MSc students (BRA, ECU) and two PhD students (ECU, COL) are currently performing their research with us. Research topics include nectar provisioning and thermotolerance of hummingbird-visited plant species across elevation, and foraging preferences of hummingbirds on different nectar quality through experiments tests. In CR an internship program has been initiated to provide students with the opportunity to learn about field methods for studies in pollination ecology, and at the same time, to collect additional data for the project. We expect to continue providing training opportunities to local motivated students, since our vision is that capacity building will likely generate positive and lasting impacts regarding the conservation of natural resources in tropical countries.

In addition, we have conducted training workshops for local participants and landowners in all three countries.  Most recently (May and August 2019) we held workshops in the Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary located in the southern part of Costa Rica. During this workshop we trained field assistants in important topics such as handling field equipment, data collection, plant identification and data entry, among others. We also had a workshop by December in Pérez Zeledón, also in Southern Costa Rica, to evaluate the quality of the information we collected during our first seven months, as well as to train field assistants on how to perform data cleaning.

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