January 12th: Work Hard, Play Hard

The last full day at La Selva began with a tasty breakfast of rice and beans. This was followed by a wonderful hike led by Lindsay along the Sendero Sabalo-Esquina, a trail at the eastern edge of La Selva that leads along the gorgeous Río Esquina. About half-way through the hike, the sky clouded over and rain poured down on the happy hikers. We soon reached the base of Volcan Barva, a volcano connected to La Selva via the Braulio Carrillo National Park. The mountain is home to the Barva Transect, a very famous set of forest sites at increasing altitude which has been studied by many of history’s greatest tropical ecologists, including Professor Cardelus!

After lunch, several people enjoyed bags of delicious homemade coconut ice cream that can be purchased at the gift shop! Then it was off to the lab and the field to finish up independent projects. Abby, Sierra, and Elena continued to observe and record insect presence on modified Heliconia bracs. Aidan and Jacob spent the day in the field lovingly surveying and collecting fern and moss samples. Megan, Lydia, Cassie, and Julieanne videotaped leaf-cutter ants and their activities around their nests every three hours and analyzed their data. Jared, Davi, and Danny took pictures of collection sites at the successional plots, and spent many hours identifying collected invertebrates. Unfortunately the long-awaited La Selva soccer game had to be cancelled as the field was too wet due to rainfall earlier in the day. After a lovely dinner of rice, beans, and fish, the students headed off to clean up the lab and prepare for tomorrow’s early departure to the next station, Cuericí!

We will be offline for the next few days, so no blogs will be uploaded until our return to San Jose on the 17th. We love and miss you all!

Vibe of the Day: Wrapping up

Rose and Thorn: 

Rose: Seing our individual projects begin to come together

Thorn: Soccer game being cancelled 🙁

Quote of the day: “I wish I had a tail so I could chase it around in circles.” – Jared

Scientist Spotlight: Jacob Watts! Fern Lova

Favorite Memory in Nature

My family and my friend’s family would go to the beach together on Lake Erie. Not many people knew about it so it was very secluded. It was the best place in the world when I was a kid. There was a beautiful river that flowed into the lake. One time my friend and I built a dam across the river, completely redirecting it over a little patch of sand. Building that dam was probably the best day ever.

Favorite Part of the Trip

Just being in the tropics and in the moment with everyone here and getting to know everyone a lot better. Joking around with everyone and having a good time. Being able to be active after a really long semester of just sitting down and reading books and studying. I like feeling like my muscles are sore at the end of the day. 

Dream Job

Right now, my dream job is to become a professor and study and teach about plants. I don’t really care if its tropical plants or not, but that’s definitely my dream job. Ideally at a nice school, but you can’t ask for everything.

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