On Tuesday, we arrived at University of Georgia (UGA) Costa Rica and began exploring right away. We were taken on a guided tour of the campus and learned about the relationships of different organisms in the forest.
The following day we went to the cloud forest on another guided tour by an experienced Costa Rican naturalist. We were able to see a variety of hummingbirds, the resplendent quetzal, and coatis. This hike gave us the opportunity to see a lot of the endemic species to the area. That evening we went on a guided night hike around campus in hopes of finding reptiles, amphibians, and nocturnal mammals. We saw kinkajou, pygmy rain frogs, and a few sleeping birds.
The next morning we set out into groups to conduct bird counts in the surrounding areas of UGA; this will give us an idea of the biodiversity in the campus. Following this we went on a coffee tour of two local coffee plantations, where we had the chance to try some fresh coffee and sugar cane. Later on the group ventured on a hike to a known waterfall and enjoyed the beautiful view. The water was freezing but all had a great time swimming.
Yesterday some of the group took advantage of UGA’s farm and milked the cows and learned about sustainable ways to deal with human and animal waste. During the day, students spent the day in the town of Santa Elena to do some souvenir shopping and eating at local restaurants.
Photos taken by: Jen LoDico, Dom Scaffa, Micah Walker, Dr. Kyle McCarthy