Hike through beautiful tropical forests, follow clear rivers, and look for native birds, lizards, and frogs—all to support quality science.
Welcome to the rainforest of Puerto Rico, where each night the coquí frogs chirp and the smooth, pale bark of the tabonucu trees glows in the moonlight. This rich land needs your protection, as do forests across the world.
Humans have extensively used most of Puerto Rico’s forests over the past few centuries, clearing them for agriculture, coffee plantations, and pastures and harvesting wood for fuel. Now, as more people move to cities, urban sprawl threatens the forests. Much of the already harvested lands have reverted to secondary forest—that is, they have grown over with a second generation of trees—and are ignored until it’s profitable to exploit them again.
You’ll help learn how we can benefit from the rainforest without diminishing its resources and diversity. Because we’re looking at the health of the whole rainforest, you’ll try your hand at a wide array of activities: monitoring areas where different forest management techniques are being tested to see how healthy the trees are, planting native tree species, counting and observing birds, and—depending on what season you join the project—scouring the forest vegetation for the tiny coquís and anole lizards.
With your help, these researchers, and ultimately all of us, can become better stewards of our forests.