As the IGERT course comes to a close I get to think back about all the cool stuff we have been able to do. We got to learn about different aspects of the research taking place at STRI, some of which I had not been exposed to before (e.g. the Agua Salud Project).
Dr. Jeff Hall describing the interesting research being done in the Agua Salud site
We learned how many of the ecological principles we learned about during lectures are applied to everyday problems. For example, this subsistence farmer in the picture below unknowingly described principles underlying interspecific competition and pathogen ecology when he talked about the issues facing his crops.
We learned how new techniques are applied to old problems. For example Dr. Greg Gilbert demonstrated his new toy which allows him to "see" inside a tree to determine the proportion of wood affected by fungi.
Dr. Gilbert showing off his new toy (thanks to Alex Tran for the picture)
We also found some awesome seascapes in Bocas del Toro...
...and just as important we were able to interact and share among a great group of people
After all that fun hiking and swimming, one thing is for sure... these boots are NOT meant for walkin' (...anymore).