Field Work and Play

Posted: August 16, 2012

Name: Wilson Andres Acuna
School: Tufts University
Major: Biology
Program: Techniques for Rainforest Research, Australia

The third week of summer session II at the SFS Center for Rainforest Studies in Australia marked the beginning of a new and exciting stage on the program for the 19 students who have been together at the Center since July 16th: intensive field work!

The week started with the students learning about field techniques for vertebrate research in the rain forest, which included the “Animal Trap Olympics!” where the students competed to show their abilities at assembling, disassembling and setting up multiple forms of animal trapping equipment. The excitement continued during the following days as the students began their nightly spotlighting sessions and early morning bird-survey walks. During this week the students also had the chance to do some volunteer work helping control the spread of coffee (which is a rainforest pest in Australia), and participating in the “Kick Start” rainforest restoration project; way to stay busy!

But not everything has been work; in Australia there is always room for some fun! With the help of the wonderful staff at the center, the students have visited places such as the Gem Gallery in the town of Yungaburra, the city of Kuranda, the Baron Falls, a dairy farm, a Bat Hospital, and even enjoy a movie night at the oldest, continuously operating movie theatre in Australia!

Today, as the program is reaching its conclusion, the students and staff at the Center prepare for the bittersweet moment of goodbye. As they finish their work and reluctantly prepare to go back home, students look back over the last four weeks with the satisfaction of knowing that the people they met, the moments they shared, even the tears that they cried, and their overall experience here in the land Downunder will be one that they will never forget.