Mindful Moments at La Selva


By Heidi Boland, College of the Holy Cross ’16

During the fall 2015 semester, while my friends were in Europe crowding the streets of Paris and London, throngs found in pubs and trains traveling from place to place, I was having a unique experience in Costa Rica with OTS…study abroad with a twist! For the first month of my time there, we were at OTS’ biological research station called La Selva (which literally translates to “The Jungle” in English).

While we were there, we had some free time to do as we wished. One night, my friends and I ventured into the frog swamp with a researcher we had made friends with at the biological station. Brian is a herpetologist (researcher of reptiles and amphibians). He was the perfect person to lead us through the reeds and mud to look for the smallest movements that might lead us to our goal.

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Conservation in Cuerici


By Bridget Gross, College of Wooster ’18

COSTA RICA: Tropical Biology on a Changing Planet, Spring 2016

As a part of the Tropical Biology program, I’ve spent my last week in Cuerici, a small biological reserve in the northern section of the Talamanca Mountain Range portion of Costa Rica. On our first full day at the site we took a four-hour hike into the Oak Forest. Don Carlos, the manager of the site, guided us through the hike, telling us the history of the land and the plant species found within the understory.

Within the Cuerici Oak forest, you can locate a variety of understory plants and lots of sunlight filtering through the incomplete canopy, two characteristics of a secondary growth forest. A secondary growth forest is the name given to a forest that is growing over old pasture land, with the pasture land being previously logged forest. This is where the history of Cuerici comes in.

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Organic Farming in Costa Rica



By Jesus Barreto, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ’17

COSTA RICA: Environmental Change, and Human Health, Spring 2016

During the first week of our the semester, we visited an organic pineapple farm near La Selva Biological Station. Last semester I took a class titled Agriculture and the Environment at UNC – Chapel Hill and learned a lot about what organic and conventional agriculture is like. I liked being able to see what I learned in the classroom in the form of organic agriculture being utilized to grow pineapples in Costa Rica. Continue reading