The REU students and faculty mentors will spend 5 weeks at the Soltis Center for Research and Education in central Costa Rica. The Center is located in San Juan de San Isidro de Peñas Blancas, about a two and a half hour drive northwest of San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica. The facility and property were donated to Texas A&M University by former student Charles William Soltis and his wife Wanda Soltis.
The facility sits on 40 acres and is adjacent to 250 acres of cloud forest with primary and secondary growth. The property adjoins more than 110,000 acres of cloud forest that are part of the Bosque Eterno de los Ninos Reserve and the Zona Protectora Arenal-Monteverde. The Zona Protectora Arenal-Monteverde extends to the Center through a forest corridor that descends in elevation from 1800 meters above sea level at Monteverde to 450 meters at the Center.
This brand new facility provides dormitories, classrooms, computer labs, and other modern amenities to support research, education and outreach activities. Specifically, the facility is centered around the Bill and Wanda Soltis Academic Building, which includes a cafeteria and multipurpose room, laundry room, wet and dry labs and 3 classrooms that are equipped with wireless internet and video conferencing. Directly behind the academic building are 8 dormitories that provide housing for up to 60 students and faculty.
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*Note: This nearest functioning station is an hour and a half away. There will be some slight variations. An onsite weather system will be complete by January 2012.