University News

Tropical Ecology Lecture Set for Nov. 19

November 18, 2008

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University's department of biological sciences and the Nature Quilt Project are sponsoring the presentation "Surviving and Thriving in Costa Rica: Creatures, Children and Teachers" at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19 in Waggoner Hall, room 378.

The theme of the presentation is tropical ecology, and three speakers will be presenting at the event.

Rachel Crandell, president of the Monteverde Conservation League U.S., an organization that helps raise awareness and funds for the Children's Eternal Rainforest of Costa Rica, will be talking about the 54,000-acre preserve (known as the Bosque Eterno de los Niños). It is the gift of children from 44 countries around the world who wanted to make a difference.

Mary McMahon, who teaches fifth grade in a local school and who was selected to visit the Bosque Eterno de los Niños in July 2008, will show pictures from her trip and share how her teaching team is integrating tropical rainforest into their curriculum.

Eric Ribbens, associate professor at WIU, plant ecologist and Nature Quilt Project steering committee member, will share some experiences from the tropical ecology class he teaches in spring, which includes a trip to Costa Rica. He will also describe some of the challenges and opportunities for the preservation of both tropical and Illinois environments.

The Nature Quilt Project promotes the protection of tropical and local environments and public appreciation of these environments. Last year, the Nature Quilt Project shepherded the development of a rainforest quilt made by more than 200 kids in the Macomb area. Money raised from donor squares supported the Children's Eternal Rainforest, and provided a scholarship for McMahon to visit the forest.

For more information, contact Ribbens at (309) 298-2580 or

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing