About the Research Station

 

The Karen Mogensen Reserve forms part of the Biological Corridor of the Nicoya Peninsula, this is thanks to the forest regeneration that has occurred through land purchases made by the Ecological  Association of Paquera, Lepanto, and Cóbano since the beginning of the nineties. A portion of these lands was acquired with Italian public funds and private donations. All this has allowed for a restoration of the natural ecosystem, which has since regained its biodiversity.

There is little known about the ecological dynamics and the quantitative and qualitative presence of the animal and plant species in the reserve, as well as the effects of climate change on the biodiversity, and how human activities, such as local agriculture, are affected. It was intended to fill this gap of knowledge by creating a suitable instrument, a Biological Research Station, which will constitute the only existing station of this type in the peninsular region. The Italian environmental association GEV Modena - Foreste per Sempre (www.forestepersempre.org) coordinated by Prof. Dario Sonetti, biologist, a professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia found funds for the completion of the structure between Italian private funders to sustain economic efforts shared with ASEPALECO. The station was opened in 2014 and has had official recognition by the Government of Costa Rica, its Embassy in Italy and the Italian Embassy in Costa Rica. The project has also been recognized as an official sponsor by the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, as well as had participation of teachers, researchers, and students from the University.

 

What will the station do?

 

  • Through the knowledge gained from scientific research, we want to conserve and preserve the Karen Mogensen Reserve tropical dry forest as it transitions to a wet forest, along with the biodiversity.
  • Besides biological and ecological studies, meteorological data will be collected, on the short and long term, to determine how climate change will affect animal and plant species and their interrelationships.
  • ASEPALECO can offer services to researchers, domestic and foreign universities and environmental groups and associations interested in learning about and enjoying nature.
  • Bring the regions different education centers, universities and other Biological Stations interested in developing joint research.
  • Promote research, and knowledge of tropical biodiversity, and conservation, with schools of all levels and youth environmental groups working with ASEPALECO.
  • Position Karen Mogensen Reserve nationally and internationally, as a research center that generates practical knowledge to be disseminated to nearby communities.
  • Through the services offered, ASEPALECO will generate economic resources for the sustainability of the organization and generate revenue for the conservation of the reserve.
  • Train men and women in communities in matters of natural history so that they can be guides for the researchers (parataxonomist).
  • Naturalist guides that have trained ASEPALECO, may further strengthen their knowledge in matters of natural history, with the support of researcher

 

What kinds of research?

 

  • Complete inventory of animal and plant species that will be included in national and international lists of biodiversity and distribution of digitized maps (GIS).
  • An ecological study of the forest in the successive phases of regeneration in order to find the parameters to favor the restoration that will be useful for similar operations in other areas.
  • Calculating CO2 absorption for the purposes of calculating greenhouse gas emissions, certifiable based on the guidelines of the Kyoto Protocol
  • The eco-ethology of some flag species present in the Reserve that are indicators of how climate change will affect biodiversity.
  • Study of organisms whose physiological and biochemical characteristics could have an applicative value in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical-industrial field.
  • The meteo-climatic station will allow real-time and long-term monitoring of atmospheric phenomena in action, and will be connected to the National Meteorological network, which will provide support for activities for forecasting and prevention to local farmers and the public of weather events.
  • At the station, they will put one or more webcams and special sensors for monitoring clouds, atmospheric phenomena, vegetation, and species, with memorizing in place and sending Internet data centers for national and international research.
  • The station will be an important support to teaching, training activities aimed at schools and national and international universities, local people and groups in eco-sightseeing and amateur scientists, with economic benefits for the Reserve itself and for administration.

 

Real-Time Meteorological Data from the Karen Mogensen Reserve