Day 10 Sea turtles

Today was an adventurous day on the coast near Nicaragua. To start off our last day in Costa Rica we had breakfast at the house of the family that’s been feeding us here. We had some amazing coffee and some great homemade cheese with our pinto de gallo (rice and beans of course) and tortillas. After breakfast in our rash guards and swim trunks, we headed to the beach. There we hopped onto two boats with a third research boat behind us, and took an hour-long boat ride to the other side of the bay. First, we watched just the researchers demonstrate how to take samples and measure a sea turtle, then we split up into two big groups. While half patrolled the net while snorkeling, the others just snorkeled around to find fish and guide turtles to the net. Once there was a turtle on the boat, groups of 2-4 helped collect information about the turtle and then release them again. We then had lunch on the boat, which was a variety of salads, some more rice (you should have seen that coming b…

Day 9 Skate Research

Hi friends and family!!
So most importantly we just killed a giant spider in our shower. …Anyways, we left Monteverde bright and early this morning to make our way to the beach! On the way here we could see rows and rows of mountains fading in to the clouds which was really pretty. Halfway through our ride we stopped at the supermarket to get some snacks and go to the bathroom. And low key I ate like 9 yipy bars but who is countin. During the second half of the bus ride (once we had woken up a bit) we played a lot of music and sang along to some lit taylor swift and katy perry. When we got to the Blue Dream Hotel we went up to our rooms and admired the view of the ocean and Nicaragua just across the water. After a lunch break we went straight to the beach to look for stingrays! We helped unload the cars and got snorkeling gear and headed for the ocean. We saw a lot of interesting fish (a pufferfish included!) and sea urchins and then found some stingrays. Once we found one we would …

Day 8 Preentations

Today was a great day! The students concluded their projects by presenting their results! The presentations were very detailed and it was clear that the students had worked very hard on their topics. I can't wait for you to see them on August 15th. A special thank you needs to go to the 3 experts that guided the students throw this process.

Day 7 Presentation Prep

Today was another great day in Costa Rica, even though most of it was spent working on our research projects and making the final adjustments to our posters.  This morning we finished our posters and played a game of pick-up soccer with Gabriel, Ibrahim, Daniela, and Beth.  It was a good way to keep us active and spend time in the sun.  This afternoon we practiced our presentations.  Finally, tonight we had a very Minnesotan meal of meat and mashed potatoes that tasted good after many days of rice and beans in a row.  We are almost to the end of our time at UGA, but we are all looking forward to tomorrow’s free time and Saturday’s relocation to our turtle project. 
Ellie & Janeve

Day 6 horseback riding

Hello Friends and Family,

We began day six of our trip with some productive science work time to prepare for our presentations on Friday. Each group has worked hard over the past few days to create four figures representing their findings from IMG, which will be used on their final posters. After a delicious lunch, we headed out to El Rodeo for horseback riding. While one group went on a trail ride, the other group explored Monteverde. We had great weather for horseback riding (despite some downpours throughout the day), and the views were picturesque. We ventured into the woods, crossed a stream, and explored the grassy fields. On the way back to the ranch, we spotted some wildlife, including a sloth and a gray fox. After horseback riding, we walked through Monteverde. Many of us stopped for ice cream and milkshakes at a small heladerĂ­a. We also bought souvenirs and pizza at nearby shops. Finally, we headed back to UGA for dinner and more science. ¡Hasta luego!  Love,
Catherine & …

Day 5 Coffee Tour

Hello all,

This morning half of the group went bird watching again at 6:30. We saw more birds than the other group, and we even saw Capuchin Monkeys and an Agouti (A small capybara). After a breakfast of the ever so famous Arroz y Frijoles, we headed down to the classroom for morning science. Our main goal was to finish our 3rd diagrams and start work on our final posters. We had a quick break at 10, and by 10:20 we were back hard at work. Lunch couldn't come soon enough, and by noon we were chowing down. At 1 we hopped in the vans and took an incredibly short ride to San Luis, a local coffee farm and tour. Apparently they didn't have our reservation, but within a half an hour we were given a warm welcome by Victor, the owner. He didn't speak any English, so we had to have one of on-campus naturalists translate for him. We learned about the coffee tree itself, the antique methods in  which it was prepared, and the more modern machine-dominated techniques. After the tour, V…

Day 4 Zip lining

This morning half of the group went “birding” (bird watching) at 6:30 before breakfast. After we ate, we headed to class in the Chachalaca classroom and continued work on our projects with a goal of answering two of our four questions. We had a quick coffee break at 10 before heading back to class and working until lunch. After lunch, we walked back to our cabinas to get ready for our afternoon of zip lining at a close zip lining park. A tram took us further up the mountain, deep into the cloud forest where we zip lined 200+ feet above the treetops. Today’s weather was fairly clear, and we were able to see past the forest and across to the the ocean. At the end of our amazing experience, we were offered an opportunity to “fall” off of the bridge. Everyone braved the drop: jumping off of the bridge, free falling for a few seconds, and ultimately being caught by a break before reaching the mats at the bottom. As our adrenaline rushes faded, we headed back to our cabinas and then went to…