Six Weeks of Ecology from a Non-Ecologist POV

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I don’t know what I expected from this course before I came here, but it certainly was not what I got. At the start of the course, I wasn’t a tropical biologist, or even an ecologist. Now maybe I can claim some knowledge in those areas. Each site we have been to has taught me something new and different, and I hope it has changed me for the better!

Palo Verde

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The first day of the course. The first day using the mosquito net. The first (and last day) that I thought I wouldn’t make it through the course.

Cabo Blanco

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Here is an example of a Tim hard at work looking for caterpillars; also known as the FLP experience. These projects were intense, quick, and usually resulting in not significant data, but I learned so much.

Monteverde

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With only a few days for a break we stopped at one of the most beautiful forests I have ever seen. It was like a fairy forest. This site is where I really began to appreciate the beauty of Costa Rica.

La Selva

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Three projects back to back was the most intense part of the trip, but my final IP made it all worth it. Thanks to Carly and Elsie for teaching me all about mist netting birds and manakins. You can see how excited we were to catch a White-collared manakin.

Cuerici

5_Cuerici

Once again I was struck by the beauty around me as we walked to our next break site. I knew it would be cold and beautiful, but never knew it could be this stunning. A perfect view to start a week of writing, sitting by the fire, drinking hot chocolate, and relaxing.

Las Alturas

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This site bonded us all together as a group. We were all living in just 2 rooms, and I wish I had a picture of that. Instead, I have a picture of the first sunset. Since we only had power for a few hours a day I felt like we really got to appreciate the nighttime beauty through hikes at sunset, stargazing, and candlelit work sessions.

Las Cruces

7_Las_Cruces

Now we are at our last site and I’m not ready for this to be over. I hope this course has helped me grow as a person and a scientist. Plus, I’m holding a Blue-crowned motmot! What an incredible way to end the most amazing summer!

Pura vida!

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