Johanna Weston: May 2008 Archives



Three days into research and each project has come to life.   Plants have been counted and in the process of identification, birds have been viewed, and the property has been mapped.   From 5:30am till 6pm we seemed to be completely focused on the projects.  But discussing the projects gives only the surface view of our couple of days in Costa Rica.  So this is where I, the lab assistant, come in on the blogging.

First, we need to let know that we are getting enough to eat.  In fact, the meats and fruits are extremely fresh.  The cook, Mireya, keeps our bellies full with pancakes, cheese, rice and beans, lasagna, chicken, fish, fresh squeezed juice, Costa Rican coffee, and deserts. We have to go to great extremes for processed items. 

One of those places is the Super Kiki, which is the local grocery/all around store in the vicinity.  It thankfully accepts both dollars and colones.  Several hills on a cobble/gravel/dirt road need to be traversed in order to arrive at the Super Kiki.  You are greeted with friendly faces at the foosball table and in the store.  You can find your row of Costa Rican candies, cookies, and breads (of which we have come to enjoy).  There is the beverage section with a variety of juices and Coca Cola made with sugar cane (not high fructose corn syrup).  Two other favorite sections is the jelly, where we find squeezable pineapple jelly, and the salsa.  The salsa has truly changed everyone's eating experience. You will most likely see each of us with two bottles in tow on the way home.  The Super Kiki also carries a variety of household goods, and the one we own our field work sanity is the Wellies.  Translation: Welly à Wellington à Rubber Boot.

Rubber Boots brings us to my second point.  We feeling the effects of the tropical storm and the definition of rainforest wet season. Most of the time we are soaking wet head -to-toe with field notebook in one hand and umbrella in the other.  Luckily the rain is warm, there are no thunderstorms, and we have our wellies.  We will conclude our data collection with the First Annual Field Ecology Welly Wanging Competition.  We will who can kick their wellies the farthest. 

We continue enjoy the beautiful views of Costa Rica and Arenal Volcano, our cabins, the plants, the birds, the terrain, the food, and rain.


Lab Assistant Introduction

Hey blog reader,

Let me introduce myself.  I am Johanna Weston, and I am the lab assistant this class.  I just graduated from UD a couple of days ago, and I am excited to spend my second post graduation week in Costa Rica. 

Today was Day 2 of Class, and the topic was plants.  We went over the generals of plant sampling: quadrants, line intercept, and point-quadrant.  We face the exciting but challenging effort to plan the sampling efforts without being in Costa Rica. Hopefully we will lower the learning curve before we arrive in the Tropical Wet Forest and Premontane Wet Forest of our study sites.

Can't wait till Sunday,