Costa Rica '09 

The 2009 trip ran from May 12 to June 2.   The text below was written and updated "live" from the field.  Eventually the material will be added to our other Costa Rica Pages.


Scroll Down for pictures and text of past stories.



  May 27th, 2009


We are in Tortuguero at Miss Junnie's.  We should have internet connections the rest of our time in Costa Rica - if we have time to use them!  Turtle watch tonight; canoeing in national park tomorrow; off to Cahuita Friday, snorkeling on the coral reef Saturday; hiking in the national park ther on Sunday, back to San Jose Monday, back to the USA on Tuesday.  Less than a week to go!

Some pictures from Tortuguero:

On the boat from Del Zota to Tortuguero.  Tortuguero is accessible only by boat or plane - there are no cars here.

Boat Docks at Tortuguero.


The beach at Tortuguero - the Island is less than 500 feet wide where our hotel is located.



Rainforest-dirty clothes hang on the clothesline in the ocean breeze thanks to the work of Olga on the hotel staff.



Breakfast at Miss Junnie's.  This hotel was at the center of turtle conservation, as Archie Carr, the main researcher who studied the turtles here ate and stayed with Miss Junnie's mother.


Joe faces off against the Costa Rican national team (of 2026).


 May 26, 2009

We have left Del Zota, a field station in the lowland rainforest of the Caribbean Slope, and traveled by boat to Tortuguero, on a barrier island.

Del Zota is a privately owned field station adjacent to  a national park:




There is a small lake in front of the buildings at the field station.  The road around the lake is ideal for a relaxing noontime run.



The common area in the main station building.  The dining hall is to the left, the main classroom behind, and the cabins to the right.  Everything in this area is connected by covered walkways.



Working on a transect to gather data to compare the tropical rain forest to the tropical dry forest at Santa Rosa.



Wlaking through the primary (uncut) rainforest at Del Zota.  The tree to the left shows buttressed roots; these roots help prop the tree up since the roots are shallow.



Near the end of the hike, Israel Messen of the field station (left; gray shirt) explains how this section of the station is being converted from tree farm back to natural rainforest.

May 22nd, 2009

Late afternoon update - thought I'd get some more pictures up while we have a decent connection.  We went to the waterfall (cataracta) at La Fortuna this morning:



We are in La Fortuna - better internet connection; still no time to post pictures.  Here are a few from the last few days:


Breakfast this morning at Hotel San Bosco





Volcano Watching



Volcano Arenal



The gang at the volcano.



Packing to leave Monteverde.



Night Hike at Monteverde.


Learning about local farming, tourism, ecotourism and Monteverde history from Joe Stuckey, a Monteverde dairy farmer.


Working on Journals at Santa Rosa.


May 19th, 2009

Sorry it took so long to get an update on the web.  We were in Santa Rosa for several days without internet access, and there never seems to be enough time to download photos from the cameras and get them formatted for the web.

Things are going well.  We had a glitch when Dr. Brown's backpack was stolen off the bus from San Jose to Santa Rosa, but we haven't let that slow us down.  Below are some representative pictures of what we've been up to:


Here's the gang near the Continental Divide in Monteverde.  We spent most of May 19th in the cloud forest sanctuary here.

Above:  There was a wild party in Liberia when we got down from the Volcano Rincon de la Vieja.  Joe managed to talk someone from a radio station into giving him a shirt so he could join in the celebration for the local soccer team's victory.  The whole town was going crazy.

After dinner (and once the soccer celebration died down a bit) we were able to sit on the square and enjoy the town band.


Earlier in the day, we were hiking in very hot tropical forest.  A mountain stream was a good place to cool off, although the water was a bit chilly.

There is some work going on.  Here Casey is testing to see which plant extracts elicit the strongest response from ants guarding an acacia tree.

At Santa Rosa National Park we took a stroll down to a viewpoint from which we could see the Pacific Ocean.  Joe wandered off and the rest of the gang decided to help him find his way home.



After the morning hike at Santa Rosa we went to the beach, which was a big hit.


Sunset on the Pacific.



May 13, 2009

We're in Costa Rica!

Well, we made it to Costa Rica without incident.  The photo above show the group at the National Museum.  We spent the first half of the day walking around town, changing money, and touring the museum.  

Our trip was uneventful, although we did find out one important thing:  The trains in Atlanta DO NOT LOOP.

Tomorrow we will be taking a bus to Liberia, and from there will travel to Santa Rosa.  There is no internet in Santa Rosa, so don't expect any updates until we get to Monteverde early next week (although if we get into Liberia and have the time we'll post an update).


May 12, 2009 - We made it to Atlanta!


Planning Meeting; April, 2009.



Emergency Contact:  Linda See, Department of Student Life, Marietta College - 740-376-4736

Emergency Emergency Contact - Marietta College Police - (740) 376-4611





2007 Costa Rica Field Trip

12 students and 2 professors spent 3 weeks in Costa Rica early this summer.  The group toured much of the country, including beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, and saw habitats including coral reefs, two active volcanoes, several rainforests, a cloud forest and a tropical dry forest.  

A web site with pictures from both the 2007 trip and the previous, 2005 trip is under construction at:

Stop by regularly as the site is being updated as we work our way through about 15,000 pictures we took there.

Field Trips

Faculty web pages:  McShaffrey  Spilatro
Utah Dinosaur Dig/Desert Ecology 2006

1Photo actually was staged using professional models.


Updated 10/16/09 by DMC