Spirit Animal

According to Ryan, our main professor for the first 3 weeks of this trip, we have all been assigned spirit animals after much deep thought. Mine is the quetzal:

From Wikimedia Commons, photo by Dick Bos.

I’m down with this. There are worse ways to be described than “resplendent” though my Science Pants might not be the best support for this animal’s representation of my innermost soul. Anyways… now I have to go learn how to do a quetzal call, so that I might commune with my fellow little birdies.

Costa Rica

Okay, so here’s the deal. When I was applying to colleges, one of the things that really caught my eye was the Dartmouth tropical biology field studies program. I didn’t really think I would end up going- it seemed kind of too good to be true, and also seemed like it would be very difficult to get on to (not to mention get in to Dartmouth). But… here I am! Three years later, I’m sitting on a bed in Costa Rica getting ready to sleep before orientation and studies begin.

The program is about 9 weeks long, 6 at various field stations in Costa Rica (jungle, beach, desert, mountain, cloud forest… all the good stuff) and 3 at the Little Cayman Research Center on Little Cayman Island. There are something like 15 of us on the trip (not sure exactly), three professors, and two graduate TAs, and we’ll be traveling, sightseeing, studying, writing, and exploring as a group. It’s pretty much a dream come true. 

So this blog will be a chronicle of my exploits on this trip, I hope, with lots of photos (as soon as we get somewhere photo-friendly… so far it’s all been airports and dark streets and pretty plain hotel rooms), some science, and constant reassurances to the greater world that yes, I am still alive and botfly-free. 

Feel free to follow along, comment, and if you’re my facebook friend (which you probably are, who else is going to read this but Mom and maybe my aunts and uncles :P) check there for more photos as often as I can post them!

In conclusion:Image