January 15: Bane of “R” Existence

This morning was riveting for the birders, who thought they almost saw a puma. It was actually a bird. The birders then had another fruitful conversation about Harry Potter (one of many). The plant group did transects with the help of some others. The rest of the group worked on R for their independent projects. Lindsey and Jacob somehow had enough energy to do hill sprints after the transects were done. The rest of us simply watched in awe and confusion. After lunch, Lindsay made friends with the woodpecker who loves to watch himself in the mirror. The rest of the day was a grind, but not without some hammock breaks. After dinner we did presentations for our independent projects. First to present were Lydia, Megan, Julieanne, and Cassie. They studied leaf-cutter ant foraging behavior, which was quite exciting, especially when they got to watch them foraging in the middle of the night at La Selva. The next group was Sierra, Elena, and Abby, on nectar-robbing of Heliconia bracts. Sierra was particularly interested in the behavior of wasps on the Heliconia, who would scare all the other insects away from the flowers. Next, Jared, Davi, and Danny told us how they braved the underbrush of the successional plots, avoiding snakes to gather data. They studied how insect diversity differs over different aged forests. Aidan and Jacob presented on the relationship of hemiepiphytic ferns to moss. Presentations got everyone’s spirits up as we cuddled near the fireplace in the lab and cheered each other on. These projects were first conceived halfway through the semester so it was satisfying to see them come to a close after so much hard work. Cassie and Elena attempted to sleep outside in the hammock tents, but neither of them lasted the night in the cold. But 10/10 would recommend hammock camping.

Quote:

“You use your mouth quite often, so why didn’t you use it then?” (Elena, to Danny)

“I love it when Elena throws shade.” (Lindsay- on a debacle about the open door)

Rose: Finishing independent project presentations

Thorn: More R

Vibe: ~loopy~

Lydia Proskauer ’22, Molecular Biology Major, Environmental Studies Minor

What is your favorite childhood memory in nature?

In elementary school, we used to collect inchworms and make homes for them, but apparently inchworms need oxygen to survive so they all died. Luckily, I’ve come a long way since then.

Favorite part of this trip?

White water rafting was SOOOO fun and we saw a sloth, which I relate to because they just like to chill and vibe out

Future aspirations/goals? Dream job?

I’d like to work with stem cells or cancer research, but I also want to travel a lot so unsure. 


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