Between bandicoots, pythons, and leeches, our students have been on full throttle since arriving here in the rainforest.  They have met all challenges elegantly and with much passion and curiosity — exceeding my expectations in leaps and bounds.

As an intern, most of my interaction with our students is a bit more casual.  I get to be in the vans with them between field lectures and listen to them go on about their trips on the reef.  As of late, however, the real pleasure has been working more closely with small group of students on their Directed Research (DR) projects.  The whole group began their projects a little over two weeks ago and have been diligently studying their respective topics that fall into each class subject.  My group has been working on a a tree census that will contribute to a national effort to understand rainforest ecosystems.  The brilliance of it all is that at the end of the two weeks the students have a wealth of data to work with.  Despite the fact that they collected data as a group, they will each get the chance to develop their own research paper and analyze the data appropriately.

I have enjoyed working with my small group of students and watching the others move through the phases in their time here.  Now, with the end of the semester approaching I can see their serious academic sides shining.  This group takes their education very seriously and won’t let the Directed Research projects go unnoticed.  I am anxiously waiting to help them through the process of data analysis and paper writing.

Now, this group does know how to have a good time.  They can be found on a Friday or Saturday night around a glowing bonfire or swing dancing to hits from the 40’s and 50’s.  They are truly a remarkable group and I cannot praise their good attitudes and keen minds enough.  That’s all from the field for now — be on the lookout for more great things from the Centre for Rainforest Studies.