EARTH University (Escuela de Agricultura de la Region Tropica Humeda)
The Earth University is a private non-profit university offering undergraduate degrees in agricultural sciences and natural resource management. The EARTH University claims to have a total of about 423 students from 42 different countries. 40% of the students are women while 83% hail from rural communities. 60% of students receive significant financial aid. EARTH University bases its learning model on two core principles – student centre learning and experiential learning.
EARTH has collaborated with institutions, such as the University of Florida, NASA, and the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica (INBio), to conduct collaborative research projects. Examples of research projects include: the search for a cure for Chagas disease, identification of agricultural uses for the by-products of ethanol production from sugarcane and the development of bio-indictor field guides for on-site water quality assessments.
The university has a community development program wherein to date the University has installed more than 500 bio-digesters to help farmers convert manure to methane which is used as a cooking fuel. EARTH also trains individuals from local communities in best practices in agricultural waste management. The EARTH University also has a commercial banana operation that employs more than 600 individuals and provides professional training, development opportunities and use of library and recreational facilities. The main research areas the EARTH University is focused on are sustainable agriculture, tropical agro-forestry, renewable energies, rural tourism and community engagement.
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