RH teacher will spend summer in Belize

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PEDRO — Rock Hill High School teacher Joy McComas, of South Point, a master’s student in the Global Field Program (GFP) from Miami University’s Project Dragonfly, will travel to Belize this summer to study approaches to environmental stewardship.

McComas has also traveled to Baja to study field methods in desert and marine ecosystems.

Since the program began 10 years ago, Earth Expeditions graduate courses from Miami University’s Project Dragonfly have engaged more than 1,500 people in firsthand educational and scientific research at critical conservation field sites in Africa, Australia, Asia and the Americas.

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All students explore diverse terrestrial, coastal, and coral reef communities of Belize while learning about conservation programs on such species as harpy eagles, jaguars, manatees and howler monkeys.

Possible investigations include monitoring manatee population dynamics, human influence on coral reefs, aquatic mangrove species sampling, and species behavior studies at the Belize Zoo. The goal is to discover the power of inquiry to generate knowledge and inspire conservation.

All students will have the chance to conduct an investigation of the local ecosystem, asking their own questions, collecting data and presenting conclusions.

Prior to and following the field experience in Belize, students will complete coursework via Dragonfly Workshops’ Web-Based Learning Community as they apply experiences to their home institutions.