Founders and Managers

UTSI founders and collaborators Robert Tate and Andrew Ogden, combine 15 years of experience in Costa Rica with graduate level university training in the natural sciences. This makes them excellent guides, hosts, and instructors. UTSI offers the services of hosting students at Finca Carolina, hands-on instruction in tropical subjects, and coordination of all parts of a group’s trip to Costa Rica. The business founders have cultivated long-term relationships with numerous vendors throughout Costa Rica. This enables UTSI to offer competitive prices while making all efforts to ensure a safe and enjoyable educational adventure.

IMG_0624Andrew Ogden

I currently work as a Lecturer in Horticulture at the University of New Hampshire in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program. When I am not teaching there, I am leading educational trips to Costa Rica. I teach courses on topics such as sustainable  fruit and vegetable production, tropical food crops, and greenhouse management. My training in environmental education and my university training and teaching experiences have prepared me to establish and carry out agro-ecological education programs for students that are interactive, fun, and informative. I also possess the horticultural skills to further develop our organic farm, informative gardens and ethnobotanical sanctuary.

Graduate training in Horticulture (M.S. in Horticulture, University of Georgia, 2008) gave me the knowledge and skills needed to assist in conducting scientific research to be published in peer-reviewed journals. I received my Permaculture Design Certificate in 2000 from the Permaculture Institute and have designed and implemented several Permaculture plans.

robert_tate

Robert Tate

Robert is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill where he received degrees in Philosophy and US History. After completing a Sustainable Agriculture Program in NC taught by well known growers in the industry, he has gone on to operate and co-own two organic farms: one in the mountains of NC near the base of Mount Mitchell, and the other near Punta Uvita along the Southwest coast of Costa Rica. Both of these farms are successfully operating today.

Robert has also been published for his molecular work in protein signaling in Molecular Pharmacology May 06 and enjoys participating in the research environment within the University. His enthusiasm for science and research continue as he earns a Masters degree in Plant Protection and Pest Management while employed at UGA. He currently functions as a farmer, educational facilitator and networker for the University of Georgia as their Organic Certificate Program Coordinator.

Daniela Mora Ogden

danielarioDaniela is a multi-talented Costa Rican lover of nature, art, healthy living and sustainable development who is passionate about work on the land and in children’s education. Daniela joined UTSI in 2009 when she began as an instructor of Spanish at Finca Carolina. At the same time she began to work in the production of organic fruits and vegetables in the gardens of Finca Carolina. Her classes include conversational Spanish as well as art in recycling, processing of paper mache and embossing on metal.

Daniela is also a proud member of the Board of Directors of Forjando Alas (a development center for youths) in Uvita. Through this affiliation, UTSI is able to incorporate into the community and play an active and direct role in the daily lives of young people.
Farm Manager and Volunteer Coordinator:

CArlos picCarlos Guadamuz. Carlos has been working with UTSI since our earliest days. Carlos is an experienced builder in concrete, wood, metal, and bamboo. His crew maintains all of our fruit trees, gardens, and hiking trails. Carlos is excited to receive volunteers and teach them about tropical agriculture, local ecology, and all things Pura Vida. When not working at Finca Carolina, you can find Carlos surfing at his home beach of Play Hermosa. Come spend some time getting to know the finca, the local surroundings and, of course, Carlos!