Biology professor Jonathan Twining will be traveling to Costa Rica and Idaho this summer with Northwest Nazarene University professor Dr. John Cossel.

From June 15-21, Twining will visit Southern Nazarene University’s Quetzal Educational Resource Center in Costa Rica. Joining him is Dr. Cossel and a professor from Point Loma Nazarene University.

Twining will be investigating the area as a potential alternative location for the Field Problems in Ecology class, which travels to Hawaii every other summer. In addition, traveling with professors from other Nazarene schools opens up doors for more partnership events and opportunities.

“This trip to Costa Rica is a way for ENC to connect with some of our sister schools,” Twining said.

In the second week of August, Professor Twining and ENC freshman Hannah Lariviere will be attending NNU’s annual “Salamander Camp.” Along with Dr. Cossel and other NNU students, they will be camping for a week in the mountains of Idaho to research the Idaho Giant Salamander.

This brown and spotted one-foot salamander is endemic, meaning that the species does not live anywhere else in the world other than Idaho. Gathering information, like conducting population studies, about the Idaho Giant Salamander is important because of their endemic status and global rarity.

“We need to understand the behaviors, what they’re eating, all that kind of stuff so that we can protect them,” Twining said.

The research gathered during “Salamander Camp” and by Dr. Cossel throughout the year is for Idaho Fish and Game.

“I can’t teach [students] everything in the classroom, so [they] need to go out and [they] need to have as many different experiences outside the classroom as [they] can,” Twining said. “This is another opportunity for that.”

Twining also plans to record the week-long trip to Idaho and create a video to interest students at NNU and ENC in attending future trips.