In two days, the first half of our group will leave for San Jose, with the rest following two days later. This particular trip serves a number of purposes: first and foremost, we will be continuing survey efforts for aquatic insects at a mid-elevation pristine cloud forest…we do this to both help with an overall inventory of Costa Rica’s biodiversity, but also to understand how insects and water quality are related. Second, it will give a range of students experience in the field — some for the first time — and so is a ‘training’ trip of sorts. Third, we are eager to start new collaborations with the University of Costa Rica, and this trip will allow us to hash out some ideas for future work while we conduct this fieldwork together.
Our first stop and ‘base of operations’ for the start and end of the trip will be Costa Rica’s Insituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio), or National Biodiversity Institute. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with INBio in for the last eight years (this also happens to be my eighth trip to the country). In addition to conducting and assisting with biodiversity research throughout the country, they house most of the Costa Rica’s biological heritage in the form of millions of specimens and their data.