It's been quite a while since I've posted on this blog. It seemed like a trip as phenomenal as the one Karin and I made around the country this past winter and spring deserved to stand alone. However, I'm leaving in the morning to go to Costa Rica with a school trip, and I thought I should post this trip on the blog too, so...here goes!
Here's the gist of things. Dr. Tim Parshall and I will be leading a trip with 15 students from Westfield State University in western Massachusetts down to Costa Rica for two weeks. Down there, we'll meet up with our phenomenal guides, Mark Wainwright and Deb Hamilton. We'll stay at a mix of biological field stations, starting on the wet east side of the continental divide (the Caribbean side), working our way up through the cloud forest and down the drier west side to the Pacific coast.
I've been on this trip with Tim twice before. Students uniformly report when they get back that "This is the best thing I've ever done in my life." I've found that it's an amazing personal and scientific growth experience for the students. It's really cool to me to watch the students rekindle their inquisitive nature - the one that's so common in very young kids, but seems to get beat out of them by the whole process of formal education.
Being curious is probably the single most important trait in a scientist, and one of the rarest.