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UW-Green Bay Dinner Lecture

The Green Republic: Tropical Conservation and Ecology in Costa Rica

with Mathew E. Dornbush, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology and Ecology


For the last decade, students and faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay have been participating in a collaborative program with Carara National Park, one of Costa Rica’s most biodiverse and unique protected areas.  In this presentation I will highlight the principle ecological factors promoting Costa Rica’s, and Carara’s, unusually high biodiversity, and some of the interesting natural history that can be found by tropical travelers.  In addition, I will discuss the diverse challenges that Carara and related tropical preserves face in their attempt to serve as global biodiversity arks.  Finally, I will address the ways in which our students help Carara to meet its conservation objectives, while gaining unforgettable, hands-on experiences in conservation biology.


Thursday evening, March 13, 2014

Gathering/Cash Bar: 6:00-6:30 p.m.
Dinner and presentation 6:30-8:00 p.m.

$29 per person

UW-Green Bay: University Union Phoenix Rooms


Mathew DornbushDr. Mathew Dornbush, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology and Ecology
UW-Green Bay Department of Natural and Applied Sciences

Dr. Mathew Dornbush is currently an Associate Professor of Biology and Ecology in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  Dr. Dornbush began this position in Fall of 2005 after received his Master’s in Botany in 2001 and his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Spring of 2005 from Iowa State University.  Dr. Dornbush’s research interests center around restoration ecology, with current focus on understanding how species invasions and human generated communities affect ecosystem services.  Recent projects have focused on evaluating the mechanisms by which garlic mustard dominates Midwestern forests, evaluating the impacts of differences in native and exotic Phragmites australis genotypes on community composition in Door Co. wetlands, and evaluating the environmental and economic benefits of establishing targeted native biofuel grasslands in NE Wisconsin.  Dr. Dornbush also co-leads an annual service-learning based travel course to Costa Rica where students study tropical ecology, and receive direct exposure to the conservation challenges of a developing country by living and volunteering in a Costa Rican National Park.  Dr. Dornbush serves on the executive board of the non-profit land trust, the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation, and is chair of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s graduate program in Environmental Science & Policy.


Costa Rican Menu

A typical meal is the casado, the name referring to the eternal "marriage" of its components. Consisting of rice and beans, meat or fish, fried plantains, and a carrot, tomato, and cabbage salad, this basic and well-rounded meal strikes a good nutritional balance. All of these items will be on the buffet line.

Arroz con Pollo – (rice and chicken), Arroz is a dish of fried rice with fresh tomato, peppers and herbs, which is offered with chicken pollo

Gallo Pinto - To generalize a Costa Rican meal, one would certainly have to talk about black beans and rice (gallo pinto).  Beans and rice is the basic variable in almost all Costa Rican cuisine.  This dish consist of rice, black beans, garlic, herbs,

Hearts of Palm Salad – a basic vegetable salad consisting of Hearts of Palms, bell peppers, fresh herbs, and a refreshing lite Dijon lemon dressing

Platanos Maduros – this dish is a basic dish of Fried Plantains

Tres Leches – this light and fluffy cake is also known as the Milk Cake provides a capping end to the evening casado
Coffee and Ice Water


UW-Green Bay’s Dinner Lecture Series, hosted by the Division of Outreach and Adult Access, highlights UW-Green Bay faculty expertise on various projects and interests in a socially accommodating, friendly learning atmosphere for the greater Green Bay community. Each evening event begins with a social/greeting time, followed by a delicious menu expertly prepared by the University’s chefs. While enjoying dessert, the featured guest faculty will showcase his or her work in a presentation format. The event usually culminates with a short question/answer session, usually ending by 8:15 p.m.

Dress is typically business casual and comfortable.