MIST Students Engage with Undergraduates in Costa Rica Summer Programs
Sep 9, 2013

Dr. Daniel Spears the graduate advisor of the Masters in International Sustainable Tourism (MIST) Program traveled to Costa Rica this summer with 15 undergraduate Emerald Eagle Scholars, who attended summer classes at The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) campus in Turrialba, Costa Rica.  The Emerald Eagle Scholars worked with current MIST students on various research projects.  These projects continue to strengthen and develop the universities’ relationships with profit and non-profit businesses in Costa Rica. 

Dr. Spears believes this joint effort will continue to build our relationship with CATIE and move the MIST program forward on multiple levels including research initiatives and teaching/learning environments.  Costa Rica has changed the way UNT students think about sustainability, and it gives them an opportunity to experience what sustainability looks like in the world’s classroom.  Students watch as turtle eggs are being hatched, tour coffee and banana plantations to learn about organic farming, and explore an active volcano.  There are no better “learning moments.”   

Eric Norman, Research Specialist and Undergraduate Program Coordinator was the classroom instructor for the summer classes at CATIE.  Norman is also a graduate of the UNT–CATIE MIST program, and an undergraduate of the UNT Hospitality Management Program. Norman taught the Sustainability Seminar Series at CATIE in a joint class with UNT students and students from the University of New Mexico.

The Emerald Eagle summer school program and the Sustainable Seminar Series were a great success.  Dr. Lea Dopson, Chair of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at UNT, believes these programs provide an ”excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to engage in research, learn about sustainability, interact with MIST graduate students, and enjoy first-rate study abroad programs in Costa Rica.  These programs not only provide students with global experiences, they enrich the already strong partnership between UNT and CATIE.”

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