Thursday, April 01, 2010, 4:30PM - 5:30PM
Due to its topography, climate, geology and location, the nation of Costa Rica, slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia, contains 4% of the globe’s biodiversity. This winter, I had the privilege to spend 7 weeks exploring the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica. Hosted by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), I participated in a graduate course designed to train young scientists in ecological research methods. While visiting dry forests, coastal zones, lowland wet forests and montane oak forests, we honed our skills in close observation while learning how to formulate and test biological hypotheses. We also investigated the effects of deforestation and land use change on forest function and ecology. The diversity of life forms we encountered was mirrored by the diversity of student and faculty participants, hailing from different regions and nations. The course was a wonderful collaborative experience. Come hear stories and see pictures of my exciting adventures in the neotropics!