Name: Rachel Kocin
School: Westminster College
Major: Environmental Studies
Program: Techniques for Rainforest Research, Australia
Nineteen students from across the country spend their first two weeks getting to know each other. Waking up to the calls of the rainforest, the experience thus far has been unforgettable. On the walk to breakfast you often hear interesting bird calls such as the laughing sounds of the Kookaburra.
Excitedly feeding wallabies in the dry country at Granite Gorge, discovering new swimming holes with hidden waterfalls, and ending a perfect day with fresh strawberry ice cream. From movie night at Yungaburra’s Groovealicious café to sunrises at Mission Beach, there is a lot of adventure to be had on and off program time. We have visited towns with colorful Saturday markets and some of us were lucky enough to spot a platypus!
Academics so far have included visiting Mission Beach to interview locals and tourists on sustainability, listening and identifying bird calls, and identifying plant species. Here at SFS, we are looking forward to the upcoming weeks with sunrise bird surveys and evening spotlighting. With so much diversity, we are hopeful to spot some interesting species. We will also be looking at coffee distribution on invasive species in the nearby area. Although busy, there is time to explore as the rainforest continues to boom with life.