Blog Category: Alumni | Ecology Project International

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Blog Category: Alumni



Last week, I experienced my first Ecology Project International course with an incredible group of middle school students from Deer Lodge, Montana. Deer Lodge is a typical rural Montana town—small, isolated, and consisting of a community who generally all know one another. Deer Lodge’s population is around 3,000 people, nearly a quarter of which live below the poverty line. The students on our course were no exception—most of them worked and fundraised for a year to pay for the already funder-supported local EPI course. The major industry in Deer Lodge is the state prison, and being so isolated, a large variety of career paths are not always visible to students growing up there. EPI’s Yellowstone Wildlife Ecology program provided this group of students a chance to not only visit Yellowstone National Park, with which they share the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, but ... Read More

Accolades, Alumni, Conservation



Costa Rica is breathtaking in its biodiversity. Rainforests drip with clicking invertebrates, and seas teem with swirling fish. Costa Rica has shores on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, and with the rainforest in between, it's no wonder the country vibrates with such incredible flora and fauna. Here, you'll find six species of felines, four species of primates, and five of the remaining seven species of sea turtles, including the distinguished baulas. Baula is the term Central Americans use to describe leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea). Between the months of March and July, female baulas can be found struggling up the beaches on the Caribbean shores of Costa Rica. Agile in the water, they labor in the sand to follow an ancient path out of the ocean. Under the cover of night, they ... Read More

Alumni, Conservation, Education, Nature, Nonprofit, Professional Development, Science, Travel



During Nicole Xiao’s annual visits to China, she recognized that the air she breathed was full of toxic contaminants. Some days she wouldn’t even venture outside! This experience catalyzed her to take action on behalf of the vulnerable bees in her own community in Moscow, Idaho, and to apply for EPI’s Alumni Leadership Award. EPI strives to inspire, and then nurture, lifelong conservation in the students that participate in our courses. To that end, EPI annually offers the Alumni Leadership Award to students who are passionate about pursuing their own conservation projects. This year, EPI granted three Leadership Awards to forward-thinking and creative alumni, all eager to help protect our shared environment. Nicole is passionate about pollinators, and concerned by their rapidly declining populations and diversity. In particular, of the 4,000 native species of bees in North America, she let us know that half of... Read More

Alumni, Education, News from EPI, Science