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  • Fiery-throated hummingbird

  • While on a hike alone in the forest searching for a research topic, I heard a low, steady hum and thought there was a jaguar on the trail and that this was the end for me. Turns out, it was the rapid beating of a hummingbird’s wings as it hovered for…

  • Credit: Suzanne Ou
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Learning science

  • The OTS/Duke Tropical Biology course in Costa Rica was very much centered on research, from the numerous lectures about projects conducted by invited faculty members, to reading scientific papers and discussing it at lunch with current graduate students every day. It was certainly daunting having one day to come up with…

  • Credit: Suzanne Ou
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Into the Night

  • I had the amazing opportunity to handle these feisty bats in Costa Rica, where we saw foraging guild ranging from nectar feeders, to fish eaters, and of course the famous blood-sucking vampire bat. We learned how forms of the tail, mouth, and ears were adapted to function, as well as picked…

  • Credit: Suzanne Ou
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • White-Faced Capuchin Family

  • While conducting our independent research in Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica, I chanced upon a family of Capuchin monkeys foraging for mangos. The OTS-Duke Tropical biology course in Costa Rica is unique in making the field our classroom. With students from all over USA, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, I learned…

  • Credit: Suzanne Ou
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Laughter

  • They seem awfully quiet.  This was my first thought when I stepped out of the Organization of Tropical Studies van with my research team into the La Casona indigenous reserve.  This is the home of 5,000 Ngöbe, an indigenous people found in Costa Rica and Panama, our study population in a…

  • Credit: Emily Yang
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Evening Stroll

  • Many unique traits characterize the Palo Verde field station in Costa Rica, such as fearsome mosquitoes, water shortages, and kitchen staff whose food made us jump for joy at every meal.  But my favorite memory is of the beautiful sunsets we witnessed during our stay.  Every evening, both the sun’s rays…

  • Credit: Emily Yang
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Silence

  • "Not all who wander are lost" - J. R. R. Tolkein. Tolkein's quote perfectly encapsulates the feeling I had as I was holding this Tree Frog in Costa Rica. After my group of friends were taught how to correctly hold it, we let it go and reflected on how incredible the…

  • Credit: Heidi Boland
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Postcard from Abroad

  • Dear Global Education Office:

    Part of my summer experience at Costa Rica involved introductory hikes to each new site we visited. This picture was taken in the Cloud Forest at Monteverde Research Station. While there, we learned all about the ecology of the rain forest. The tree I am standing beside…

  • Credit: Jordan Gulli
  • Major: Program II-Astrobiology
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS, OTS in Costa Rica, summer
  • Postcard from Abroad

  • Dear Global Education Office:

    Hola from Costa Rica! We have one week remaining in the Duke/Organization for Tropical Studies Global Health program. Over the past 13 weeks, I have learned about the biological and sociocultural basis behind tropical diseases, the socioeconomic factors that affect global health, the benefits of well-managed ecosystems…

  • Credit: Nikhilesh Raju
  • Major: Environmental Sciences and Biology
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Postcard from Abroad

  • Dear Global Education Office:

    Class in the forest!

    The Duke/OTS Costa Rica Tropical Biology semester was truly special in that it allowed us to have classes in the middle of the biology we were studying! Here we are in Monteverde learning about gap dynamics.

    -Joellen Anderson, Occidental College

  • Credit: Joellen Anderson
  • Major: Urban and Environmental Policy
  • Tags: OTS, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Postcard from Abroad

  • Dear Office of Study Abroad:

    My semester abroad in Costa Rica was one of the most challenging and outstanding experiences of my life. It was a time of not only learning about Costa Rica, tropical biology, and environmental policy, but it was a time of overall personal growth allowing me to…

  • Credit: Merrie Mosedale
  • Major: NULL
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Postcard from Abroad

  • Dear Office of Study Abroad:

    This is a beautiful view of Lake Nicaragua from the biological field station cafeteria on Ometepe Island during the Duke/OTS in Costa Rica Program. Our classroom is the thatched building on the left. "But wait!" you say. "Lake Nicaragua isn't in Costa Rica!" This is true.…

  • Credit: Joe Reardon
  • Major: NULL
  • Tags: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, OTS, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Postcard from Abroad

  • Dear Office of Study Abroad:

    It was, by far, my favorite semester. If you like the outdoors, travelling and a hint of environmental sci/biology, this is the program for you. It's a tight knit group of up to 30 students or so. We travelled all around the country learning about the…

  • Credit: Nathan Emery
  • Major: NULL
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS, OTS in Costa Rica
  • Postcard from Abroad

  • Dear Office of Study Abroad:

    Every night after a long day of hiking, collecting samples, and avoiding snakes, one or many of us would head out to the docks in Palo Verde. It was a time to unwind and recognize the beauty of the land that we had been thrown head…

  • Credit: Valerie Vaughn
  • Major: NULL
  • Tags: Costa Rica, OTS, OTS in Costa Rica, summer
  • Principe Pio - Madrid, Spain