IWU Alum to Speak on Research in the Rainforests of Costa Rica
September 16, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Tropical plant ecologist Jeff Klemens, an Illinois Wesleyan University
class of ’98 alum, will discuss the modernization of research and conservation efforts
in the rainforests of Costa Rica in a seminar on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Klemens
will also deliver a natural science colloquium titled “Why Aren’t the Lowland Oak
Forests of Costa Rica Regenerating?” on Friday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m.
The lectures, free and open to the public, will be held in room C101 of the Center
for Natural Science Learning and Research (201 E. Beecher St., Bloomington).
Klemens is the founder of Investigadores del rea de Conservacin Guanacaste (iACG),
a volunteer organization that promotes the study of Costa Rican rainforests and provides
internet-based tools designed to coordinate the efforts of independent researchers.
iACG works through the rea de Conservacin Guanacaste (AGC), one of the oldest, largest
and most successful habitat restoration projects in the world. Geographically, the
AGC is a United-Nations-protected World Heritage site comprising three national parks
and a wildlife refuge over nearly 1,500 square kilometers of land in northwestern
Since 1999, Illinois Wesleyan students have had the opportunity to travel to the AGC
research site through a yearly May Term class, “Tropical Ecology: Costa Rica,” which
Klemens co-teaches with Professor of Biology Given Harper. The physically demanding
course introduces students to the tropical ecology of Costa Rica and allows them to
see field ecologists conduct research first-hand. Klemens also hosts graduate students
from across the United States.
Graduating Illinois Wesleyan with a B.S. in biology and a minor in Spanish, Klemens
earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. There, he studied
under Daniel Janzen, the world-renowned evolutionary ecologist who initiated the AGC
project in the early seventies. Currently, Klemens is a postdoctoral fellow at the
University of Minnesota in the department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior.
For additional information, contact Harper at (309) 556-3056.
Contact: Teresa A. Sherman ’09, (309) 556-3181