VI Montessori Students Set Off to Study Leatherback Sea Turtles in Costa Rica

Youth will join Costa Rican researchers to help protect this critically endangered sea turtle and learn hands-on science and conservation methods.

Missoula, MT, May 06, 2010 --( Fifteen Virgin Islands Montessori students and their teacher, Gloria Zakers, will be participating in a 12-day field science project in Costa Rica, studying a sea turtle that is one of the oldest species on Earth: the Leatherback.

The Sea Turtle Ecology Program, organized by Ecology Project International (, is located at the fourth most important nesting area in the world for the critically endangered Leatherback. Each night during the nesting season, students will accompany instructors and researchers in search of turtles and their nests to study population trends and protect the nests from tides, poachers, and other threats. They will also meet local Costa Rica students during an intercultural exchange.

To date, more than 6,000 people have participated in EPI’s programs in Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. EPI’s innovative approach to environmental education immerses youth in the outdoors, during which they apply science to real-world projects with scientists to aid conservation efforts. Inspired by the natural wonders of the world, and empowered by their experience that they can make a difference in the world, students become better equipped to make informed decisions about natural resources important to their community’s economic and environmental health.

For more information about EPI’s work in Montana and abroad encouraging conservation for the next generation, visit, call (406) 721-8784, or email

Ecology Project International
Kelsey Stamm
(406) 721-8784