In 2015, BFREE’s education committee was charged with creating curriculum packets that included long-term educational and research projects and data sets for student groups visiting the field station. The goal has been to identify questions that are principal to BFREE’s mission – “to conserve the biodiversity of Belize”  – and are amenable to the development of field activities and research for student groups.

Two curriculum packets have been developed during the 2016 field season and are now available online.

Small Mammal Community Survey                                                     Fruit Phenology Study

Lees-McRae students identify a small mammal

Lees-McRae students identify a small mammal

A Gumbo Limbo tree tagged in the cacao grid

A tagged Gumbo Limbo tree in the cacao











Both studies are located in two plots, a managed cacao plantation and an unmanaged forest habitat.  These studies strive to produce a better understanding of the ecological differences between cacao and unmanaged forest habitats. Because these projects are focused on the comparison of agroecosystems to natural habitats, they will also serve as a good example to students of the importance of integrating human needs and concerns in the disciplines of ecology and conservation biology.

If you would like to contribute an idea for a packet or would like to replicate a project that was implemented in the past at BFREE or at another site, please email

Members of the Education Committee:

Peter Esselman – Committee Chair, USGS
Sara Ash, University of the Cumberlands, Kentucky
Stewart Skeate, Lees-McRae College, North Carolina
Maarten Vonhof,Western Michigan University
Mark Cline Lucey, Vermont Commons High School

Committee Contributors:

Jamie Rotenberg, UNC Wilmgton
Rob Klinger, USGS
Jacob Marlin, BFREE
Heather Barrett, BFREE