Page 11 - William Woods University - Summer 2013

Kelly Abernathy, Katey
Bilsky, Cat Fuhs, Alora Haney,
Allyson Hawkins, Julia Peairs,
Stephanie Walker, and WWU
professor Robin Hirsch-
Jacobson spent their week in
Costa Rica, studying various
fields of biology in the middle
of the action. Their endeavors
were recorded (when there
was Internet access) in a
series of blog entries:
March 9:
We had an early start, meeting at
a.m. yesterday. After a smooth travel day
and plenty of naps on the plane, everybody
was excited to arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica.
There were a couple hours to explore the
property at Hotel Aeropuerto where we had the
opportunity to enjoy some tropical flora and
climate. Everyone was excited to see the
buttressed roots.
Today we are making a stop at Braulio
Carrillo before continuing on to El Zota.
Hopefully the Internet will work here so we
can post additional updates. We are all happy,
safe, and excited for the rest of the trip!”
March 12:
So much has happened in the
past few days. We heard four different owls on
our owl walk, and two potoos. We even saw a
black-and-white owl swoop down and capture
an insect flying around a light at the station.
We’ve seen all three monkey species around
the station (mantled howlers, white-faced
Capuchins, and Geoffroy’s spider monkeys),
which has been awesome (aside from the 5
a.m. wake-up call of the howler monkeys).
Today, we split off into smaller groups and
went out to different trails around the station
to collect data for our individual taxonomic
groups. We have all been very lucky to find a
variety of species, including a hog-nosed pit
viper, chestnut-mandibled and keel-billed
toucans, and white tent bats (we discovered
them the first day, and this group has continued
to return to their same leaf tent; they will use
this leaf to roost until it dies in a couple days).
We just returned from a night hike through
the forest and were fortunate enough to startle
a tapir that was foraging close to the trail!
Somehow, we managed to sneak up on it, but
as soon as it caught our scent, it went crashing
off loudly though the forest so fast we weren’t
able to catch a glimpse, but Israel, our guide,
told us we were lucky to even get that close.
We also saw a red-eyed tree frog and another
type of tree frog that is very rare to see.”
from left)
Robin Hirsch-Jacobson,
Katey Bilsky, Cat Fuhs,
and Kelly Abernathy
search through the Costa
Rica jungle with binoculars
at the ready. Each of the
seven students chose a
different taxonomic group
to focus on throughout
their week.
from left)
Julia Peairs,
Stephanie Walker,
and Katey Bilsky show
off their dance moves at
a cookout at their
field station.
from left) Katey Bilsky,
Allyson Hawkins, Stephanie
Walker, Kelly Abernathy, Alora
Haney, Cat Fuhs, and Julia
Peairs gather at El Zota the
morning they leave
for Tortuguero.
from left)
Stephanie Walker,
Allyson Hawkins,
Alora Haney, and
Kelly Abernathy suit up
to take a ride on the zip
line. The canopy tour took
them through the jungle on
several platforms.