The CRC is a Belize-based nonprofit that seeks to preserve crocodiles and their environments throughout Central America. We believe that community involvement is the cornerstone to conservation in the region, so we work to educate local communities and empower other local organizations to do their part in sustaining this critical species and environment. We work with the local government and other organizations to monitor the crocodile populations throughout the country, to better inform policy decisions regarding the animals.
We believe that the conservation success of crocodiles is not only dependent on direct conservation efforts of the focal species, but also understanding how crocodiles interact with its environment and other wildlife as thriving and long-lasting conservation management is dependent on preserving the integrity of ecological interactions. Thus, through our research center in southern Belize, we will facilitate research projects of crocodiles, as well as the surrounding flora and fauna. Additionally, we will provide state-of-the-art facilities and lodging to researchers and academic groups nationally and internationally who wish to pursue wildlife and conservation research.
To promote conservation of crocodiles and their habitats throughout Central America through community involvement, research, and education.
“If a woman loves a crocodile, she takes on its character.” — Ancient Egyptian Proverb
At an age when most girls were playing with dolls, Dr. Marisa Tellez was developing knowledge of the world’s top predators as she knew at a young age she wanted to be an advocate and leader in the conservation of the world’s apex predators, particularly crocodiles. Books, television, and local wildlife facilities were the only outlets for her to “experience” crocodiles given she was growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. After receiving a BA in Cultural Anthropology and a BS in Zoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2005, Marisa finally got her hands-on experience with crocodilians at the Eco-station in Culver City, California, and soon after began working at the Los Angeles Zoo. It was working at the zoo that she realized she wanted to head back to school and truly pursue scientific research with crocodilians, particularly investigating their interaction with parasites.
Marisa received a Master’s (2010) and PhD (2014) from the University of California, Los Angeles studying the interaction between parasites and crocodilians, publishing a book and various scientific publications. Her work, knowledge and passion for crocodile conservation was quickly acknowledged by the International Union for Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission-Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG), and was soon initiated into the CSG, as well as appointed as the Vice Regional Chair of Latin America for the CSG for her field work in Guatemala, Mexico and Belize which began in 2008.
After receiving a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship through the United States government to research the health and biodiversity of crocodilian habitat in Belize, Marisa soon called Belize home. Observing the difference her research and outreach was making in the local communities, Marisa and her husband created the Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC) to further promote crocodile research and community involvement to assist in the conservation of crocodilians and their habitat.
Karl Kohlman grew up hunting and fishing on the gulf coast in Southeast Texas. He went on to the University of Texas at Dallas to receive a BA in Arts and Technology, leading him to a career in visual effects for film in Los Angeles. He spent 6 years working on summer blockbusters like Oblivion, TRON, Enders Game, Transformers 2, and many more. He spent a great deal of time outdoors surfing and hiking, trying to find balance with the long hours spent inside working, but was unable to do so. He moved to Seattle in hopes of finding a better equilibrium, working in video games on Halo 5, surrounded by a much more lush environment.
After only a year, his wife Marisa proposed that they move to Belize for at least a year for her work. In no time at all, they sold off their stuff, packed up what was left and moved to the Jewel of the Caribbean.
Over the next 6 months, working as a research assistant for his wife, Karl fell in love with the plethora of wildlife surrounding him and the crocodilians that they were researching. Seeing the positive difference he and his wife were already making among the local communities through their outreach and research, he and his wife Marisa decided to start the Crocodile Research Coalition, in hopes of learning more about the crocodiles and their environment, while educating locals and tourists alike about these incredible creatures and their importance to the surrounding environment.
For inquiries about internships, research opportunities, or educational outreach, please contact:
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All donations are tax deductible and go through our US based
partner nonprofit Collective ConSERVation