What is in a name?

howler monkey nicaragua ecohealth

A history lesson

Cūra is not a word we come across everyday. However it has special meaning to the mission of this organization. Cūra is Latin, originally from the Proto-Indo-European “koys-“ (to care for, cure). The Latin form is the root of the modern day word for cure. Cūra‘s definition includes care,concern, solicitude, healing, and guardianship- all of which this organization’s mission is about in reference to the Earth and the life on it.



There is an ancient Roman fable about a goddess named Cura:

“In crossing a river, Cura gathered clay and, engrossed in thought, began to mold it. When she was thinking about what she had already made, Jove arrived on the scene. Cura asked him to grant it spiritus, “breath” or “spirit.” He grants her request readily, but when she also asked to give her creation her own name, he forbade it, insisting that it had to carry his name. While the two were arguing, Tellus (Earth) arose and wanted it to have her name because she had made her body available for it.

The judgment is finally rendered by Saturn. He determines that since the spiritus was granted by Jove, he should have it in death; Tellus, or Earth, would receive the body she had given; because Cura, or Care, had been the creator, she would keep her creation as long as it lived. To resolve the debate, homo, “human being,” would be the name, because it was made from humus, earth.” *

*Available under Creative Commons license http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cura




Mission and History

Lake Nicaragua, Isla de Ometepe, ecotourism, ecosystem health, conservationMission Statement:

Cūra Earth combines science, social action, and creativity to achieve sustainable health of people, animals, and ecosystems.


Co-founders Dr. Aubrey Tauer and Dr. Melissa Raguet-Schofield met in 2003 during a field primatology course in Nicaragua. Dr. Raguet-Schofield went on to do her dissertation in physical anthropology in Nicaragua, while Dr. Tauer became a wildlife and public health veterinarian. Both scientists fell in love with the country, and wanted to do more to help the people, wildlife, and domestic animals. In June of 2011 we decided to co-found Cūra Earth to apply the principles of ecohealth (also referred to as conservation medicine) to find solutions to the many problems developing nations face. As this organization grows, we hope to expand programs to other countries and even parts of the United States that could benefit from the science, social action, and creative methods of outreach we conduct.

Aims and Scope


Cūra Earth aims to advance health by uniting ecology and the biomedical sciences. The organization’s work integrates the fields of human and veterinary medicine, anthropology, ecology, earth sciences, and ecosystem management.

As an organization working at the intersection of environmental health, human health, and animal health, Cūra Earth will:

  • Focus on neglected diseases and neglected populations
  • Develop novel programs for solving public health problems, including the use of new technology
  • Provide training and medical services to impacted populations of people, domestic animals, and wildlife
  • Research anthropogenic change and the drivers of emerging diseases of humans and animals in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems
  • Assess risks related to habitat degradation, trade of wildlife and plants, and climate change
  • Conserve wildlife and wild lands
  • Provide outreach using both traditional methods as well as new media, art, and social networking


Scope: Cūra Earth is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing comprehensive international research, conservation, and public health programs. Because many of the issues and diseases we work with do not respect human created boundaries, as we grow many of our programs will span multiple countries and even continents. Our focus is on endangered habitats and threatened species, and indigenous or disenfranchised human populations.

Cūra Earth is one of the few organizations working in the emerging fields of One Health and EcoHealth. These fields seek to forge collaborations amongst different healthcare professionals and ecological scientists, as well as perform research on how change in the earth’s environment affects human health.


Nicaragua, monkey, conservation, wildlife, public health, forest, ecohealth

Mantled Howler Monkey, Isla de Ometepe

Dr. Aubrey Tauer, DVM, MPH

President & Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Iga Stasiak, DVM, DVSc

Adjunct Scientist


Board of Directors:

Aubrey Tauer, DVM, MPH

Melissa Raguet-Schofield, Ph.D

Therese Genis, MPH

Xee Yang

Marsha Anderson

Veronica Hang