Background Information

Woman with Binoculars

ECO Classroom was developed through collaboration between the Northrop Grumman Foundation and Conservation International’s (CI) TEAM program.

Program participant assisting on a banana farm.Northrop Grumman Foundation is committed to improving education through programs that support students and teachers, by awarding scholarships and partnerships, and improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curricula. As a technology-based company, Northrop Grumman is passionately committed to doing all it can to reverse the trend of declining student interest in the STEM fields. Science-based expertise is the heart of its high-technology industry, society and economy.

By investing in teachers through programs such as ECO Classroom, the Northrop Grumman Foundation is helping them to bring field research experience into their classrooms, to inspire their students about ongoing environmental education and engagement, as well as the math and science knowledge they need to acquire to pursue environmental science.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation was created and is supported by Northrop Grumman as a vehicle for philanthropy to specifically support STEM education initiatives.

Founded in 1987, CI has an impressive record of protecting and managing critical landscapes and seascapes, helping to ensure the sustainable economic development and physical well-being of vulnerable communities. CI has a solid foundation in science and long history of pioneering innovative and effective conservation strategies while building powerful partnerships to foster collaboration at the project level and internationally. CI’s mission is to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and global biodiversity, and for the well-being of humanity. CI’s scientists, field staff, and policy experts are measuring the contributions of healthy ecosystems to human well-being: assessing the implications of development decisions on socioeconomic well-being and on the environment; putting cutting-edge, rigorously tested information in the hands of decision-makers and the public; and demonstrating at the field level how economic opportunity and stewardship of natural resources can leverage change at an international scale.

Local scientists collect data on terrestrial mammals and birds (by camera trapping), carbon (by collecting vegetation data), and climate.Initially created by CI, the TEAM Network is a partnership among four institutions (CI, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute). With over 80 implementing partners worldwide, TEAM collects standardized ecological data at 17 sites in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By following a standard set of protocols at each site, local scientists collect data on terrestrial mammals and birds (by camera trapping), carbon (by collecting vegetation data), and climate. Using a state-of-the-art data storage and management system, data are input, stored and disseminated in near-real time to be freely available to all via the TEAM network website. 

La Selva Biological Station

La Selva Biological Station is located in the Sarapiqui region of the Central Valley of Costa Rica. It is managed by the Organization for Tropical Studies. It lies at the confluence of 2 rivers and is comprised of 3,900 acres of humid tropical forest and disturbed lands. For more information, visit the OTS website.

La Selva Biological Station