Name: Edgardo Arévalo, Ph.D.
Position: Lecturer in Tropical Ecology & Sustainable Development
Program: Sustaining Tropical Ecosystems, Costa Rica
The cloud forest of the Monteverde area was the natural laboratory for each of our 21 students participating in the first summer session to conduct independent projects.
Before heading to the field last week, the students learned about the different themes within which they could develop their independent projects. In the discipline of ecology, the students had the possibility to concentrate on plant ecology, animal-plant interactions or animal ecology. In addition, another would concentrate on hummingbird aerodynamics when visiting artificial feeders, and another group on carbon sequestration in different successional stages; epiphyte as bioindicators; and forest regeneration dynamics.
All of the projects involve field sampling techniques and experimental designs to collect the data required to answer the questions or working hypotheses. Through nice weather and a couple of rains, we all came back from the field to analyze the collected data at the Atenas campus. After data analyses, the students submitted a short report using the scientific format. Now we all are getting ready for the symposium in which each student will deliver an oral presentation. With this important event in which we learn about all the projects conducted by the students, we are closing a great and intense summer session.