The end of the fall semester is drawing near. At this point in time, the SFS program in Costa Rica is functioning as an extended family. Students who left home, friends, and family about 2 months ago, found a new home, friends, and family in Costa Rica. Last week, students and staff helped out cooking and organizing the Thanksgiving dinner. As usual, it was a complete success, not only in regards to the food, which was plentiful and yummy, but also in terms of the meaning of this holiday, which was about getting together, sharing, and being thankful for all the things we receive.

On Monday, four groups are departing to different points in Costa Rica to start the field part of Directed Research: Dr. Sergio Molina will continue his research on human capitals around Irazú Volcano National Park; Dr. Edgardo Arévalo will explore bird bioacoustics around the highway passing in front of Carara National Park; Dr. Achim Häger will measure carbon sequestration in a forest fragment in Atenas; whereas my group will go to Monteverde to explore hummingbird aerodynamics at three locations at different elevations.

It sure has been an intensive and very productive semester. It ends with the generation of research, the presentation of results, and their dispersion to the different clients and stakeholders. I can’t wait to be in the field measuring and mist-netting hummingbirds in one of the most beautiful places on the face of the planet.