Led by Dr. Thomas Roose, associate professor of physics and science education, the group of students explored both the rain forest of the lowlands and the cloud forest of the mountains to learn about how the ecology of these regions work and how humans interact with the rainforest.
Although Costa Rica covers only .03 percent of the earth’s surface, this tiny country holds more than 5 percent of all life forms. The Interim team of students, all from varying majors, enjoyed whitewater rafting, zip-lining through the treetops, hiking near an active volcano and in tropical forests, and encountering toucans, sloths, poison dart frogs, iguanas, and other wildlife in their habitats. The students also experienced how global climate change is adversely affecting this unique part of God’s creation.
“My Interim trip to Costa Rica was more amazing than I could have ever imagined,” said Melissa Conrad ’14 of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois.
Conrad said she is passionate about wildlife conservation and sustainability and the trip provided an opportunity for her to experience both firsthand.
“The main highlight of my trip, besides being plunged deep into the lush Costa Rican rainforest, was getting to experience the Costa Rican culture. You could tell that people had a deep appreciation for everything and a very strong respect for nature, as well as each other. Their motto is ‘pura vida’ (pure life), and indeed it is. I would absolutely love to go back.”
Interim is a two-week program in January led by faculty and staff of the College. Special courses and trips are offered on campus, in Chicago, or at destinations in the United States and abroad.
Click here to read Dr. Roose’s Costa Rica Interim blog.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Roose.