Monday, June 29, 2015
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Pura Vida, Kallie and Kowsar
Friday, June 26, 2015
I will begin with an apology to all who were expecting an entertaining blog. Sadly, you are stuck with the musings of a boring teacher. You see, the student researchers are preoccupied with experimental revisions, data analysis and presentation preparations.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Butterflies, Both in Our Stomaches and In the Air
Today we woke up at a very early school-like time at 6:40. After scarfing down breakfast of beans and rice, scrambled eggs and fresh fruit we took a tour bus for a half an hour ride to the Canopy Zip-line Tour. When we arrived at our destination the air was electric with excitement and energy. To get up into the forest canopy we had to hike for a good while until we reached our first platform. The four instructors gave us a last minute rundown before they hooked us in and one by one we went gliding over the forest... it was magnificent! There was a total of 12 platforms with the last one being two football fields long and coming out of the forest into a open field. The view was stunning. After everyone calmed down we went for a short drive to our second destination which was a butterfly farm. On the way to the farm we stopped on the side of the road to observe a sloth chilling in a tree. At the farm Eduardo, the owner, welcomed us with open arms. He showed us many types of butterflies in their different stages. We then went into the netted farms and observed the most spectacular display of butterflies we have ever seen, ranging from monarchs to blue-morphs.
We then came back to Finca la Anita and worked on our science projects. At dinner we sang Pablo Happy 50th birthday. (And Happy Birthday to you Heather! From Kallie)
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Another incredible day in the beautiful rainforest of Costa Rica. While yesterday was divided between field work and a fun activity, today's activity was primarily research. Beginning with our morning meeting, we prepared to determine if Escovopsis is present in the fungus we collected. After feasting on the best cinnamon rolls we have ever eaten, we returned to our research. Each group, the Go Pro or Go Homes, Los Mejores Buscadores, Attapocalypse, and KC=Msquared, focused on a problem to test over the next 3 days. Many interesting ideas regarding devastation of cacao plant leaves by leafcutter ants were discussed. There were some friendly discussions suggesting future Nobel Peace Prize recipients because of our work! We just like to look at it as solving the world's problems one cacao plant at a time. Each group had to present their experiment to Dr. Pinto, Pablo, and Mr. Leventhal and the rest of our crew. It felt like a reality show competition as Dr. Pinto circled our work stations, "fifteen minutes everyone!" We were graced with the presence of a very large, smartphone-sized, beetle today. Everyone was surprised by how soft it was but not by its massive pinchers and eagerness to pinch Dr. Pinto. While today was more science focused, we can already see how connected each group is becoming to their specific problem. The word rainforest is an understatement-it rains every couple of hours, sometimes pouring, sometimes sprinkling...but always wet.
Kallie and Lexis