Name: Carlee Snider
School: Gonzaga University
Major: Biological Sciences
Program: Sustainable Development Studies, Costa Rica
What better way to spend your spring break than in the mountains and beaches, and amongst the culture in Costa Rica? Pura vida. Many SFS students’ families traveled down to experience a bit of the vibrant life that we have been so fortunate to experience these past two months, while others spent time away with the family we have made amongst ourselves here.
Some of us spent our break surfing, snorkeling, and snoozing on the beautiful Caribbean shores in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. A few others listened to the waves lap up against the shores of Montezuma, a beautiful beach on the Pacific Coast peninsula, where the sun beats down on the sand from dusk ’til dawn. Others spent time in the cloud forests of Monteverde and spotted monkeys, sloths, and birds galore at Volcán Arenal.
As we reflect on an unforgettable spring break, we now turn our attention towards the beginning of our Directed Research projects. There are morphologies of flowers and hummingbirds to survey, carbon sequestered in the forest to calculate, bird calls along a road-edge to capture, and investigations pertaining to governmental, cultural, and economic status to be had. Over the next week, four groups of us will set out on various tasks to gain knowledge on specific topics and for the following two weeks, we will formulate research papers to illustrate the knowledge we will have gained. But as we focus so much time on gaining knowledge about the environment and sustainable development, we come to realize that perhaps more importantly, we have been given an incredible opportunity to learn a great deal about ourselves.