Exploring Creation in Costa Rica

Posted by Jonathan Twining on May 12, 2015 2:00:00 PM

In just a few short days, I will be heading to Costa Rica along with our Provost, Dr. Timothy Wooster, and my colleague from Northwest Nazarene University, Dr. John Cossel. We’ll be spending two weeks with Dr. Cossel and his students in the lowland and cloud rainforests, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs of this beautiful Central American country. I have quite a “bucket list” of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals that I really want to see. I hope to be able to share some of them with you when I return.

Black-spiny-tailed-iguana-costa-ricaOne of the things that is pretty special about being a student in the sciences at ENC is that we offer multiple options to travel to places like Hawaii and Costa Rica and experience the ecosystems that we can only read about or experience in videos during our traditional semester courses. Imagine being able to snorkel with sea turtles, or see first-hand the symbiotic relationships of the coral reef. Picture yourself walking through the mists on a cloud forest trail, and seeing a sloth hanging from a tree, or hearing the howler monkeys when you wake up in the morning. Let your mouth water with the anticipation of tasting exotic fruits, and your nose tingle with the scent of spectacular flowers. And relish the thought of spending time with another culture and learning about other ways of living.

Another benefit of seeing these places is that it gives you an even bigger picture of just how special this planet is, and that sense of awe and wonder leads us to explore God’s creation in a deeper way, and hopefully drives us to care for it. In my Environmental Ethics and Policy class this semester, we have spent a great deal of time talking about our role as caretakers and stewards, and how we need to heal the broken relationships that we have with our world. God calls us to be keepers and servers of the Garden; to leave the planet better than we found it and to never take more from the earth than we are willing to give back. In God’s Kingdom, every day is Earth Day.

If you are still making a decision about your collegiate future, I hope you will consider joining us in the adventure of exploring and valuing our planet. See you when I get back from Costa Rica!


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Photo - Black Spiny-Tailed Iguana from Costa Rica

Written by Jonathan Twining

Jonathan Twining teaches the ecology and environmental science courses for the Biology Department and is the advisor for the Animal Caretakers Team (ACT). Twining worked for a number of years as an environmental scientist and project manager with consulting firms in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He has been very active in the greater community, partnering ENC students with organizations like the Quincy DPW, Wildlands Trust of Southeastern Massachusetts, Massachusetts Audubon, the South Shore Natural Science Center, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. His passion and primary research interest is the ecology and conservation of vernal pool habitats. He has written numerous articles for NCM Magazine, and has been a speaker in local congregations about the care of creation (environmental stewardship).

Topics: Environmental Science