Monday, September 14, 2009

My GVI Costa Rica Experience by David Aneurin Jones

For almost two years now, I have been managing the work of Global Vision International (GVI) Costa Rica from the Caño Palma Biological Station. This is a 24-hour a day, seven days a week position for ten weeks at a time based in the field, four times a year - living and working directly with field staff and volunteers in the coastal rainforest of Tortuguero, in the northern Caribbean of Costa Rica. This position would be impossible without our dedicated field team and truly exceptional Country Director, Rebeca Chaverri, together with the support of GVI’s regional teams around the world. The periods in between volunteer phases are generally spent working from our office near the Costa Rican capital, San José.

GVI Costa Rica work with non-specialist volunteers and supply all necessary training, expertise and logistical support in order to conduct scientific fieldwork, monitoring, conservation and community programmes for local, national and international partners. We are responsible for all aspects of the eight programmes undertaken; from identifying local and regional needs and priorities to developing protocols, project management to data analysis, training and testing through to reports and publications. GVI Costa Rica consists of the largest research force in the region and we work closely with the National Environment Ministry (MINAET).

I feel that our biggest achievement during my time with GVI has been increasing the quality, efficiency and awareness of all aspects of the programme for the greater benefit, understanding and management of the region. Through this opportunity with GVI, I have gained a wide experience of liaising with organisations, both governmental and NGOs, and professionals. I am fully confident in the management of people of all backgrounds and experiences and in my ability to understand and inspire people in order to move any team of people towards greater goals and commitments.

In November of 2008, we became the first GVI programme to be accepted to an international conference to present our work. Since that time, after being honoured with the highest award of the conference, we have presented at some of the world’s biggest biology and conservation conferences, including the Society of Conservation Biology and the International Sea Turtle Symposium. We are subsequently preparing four manuscripts for publication and with the acceptance of our latest abstracts to this year’s congress of the Mesoamerican Society of Biology and Conservation, will have presented the findings of all scientific programmes on an international stage in less than 12 months. This is in addition to our regular commitments and reports for GVI, partners and associates. I am immensely proud of the work we have achieved, and continue to achieve, and privileged to have worked with some of the most dedicated people, both staff and volunteers, I am ever likely to meet.

The work is inspiring, challenging, and something for which I feel a passion and drive for every day. Having begun my time as a volunteer with GVI Costa Rica, looking to gain additional field experience in the hope of developing my scientific career, I didn’t imagine that the career I was looking for was already here, in the beautiful coastal rainforests of this magnificent country.

Pura Vida!

David Aneurin Jones, Field Coordinator Dec 2007 - Oct 2009


GVI Costa Rica said...

Read more testimonials soon via the link "GVI Costa Rica: who are we?" on the left-hand-side of the blog

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