T minus 36 hours

I don’t think that I’ve fully processed the fact that I’ll be in a completely different country and culture in less than 48 hours. Going into this course, I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to explore a region that I have never experienced before. The closest I’ve been to the tropics is Hawaii, which is different from continental tropics because it is so isolated and the land mass cannot support the same level of biodiversity.

I am expecting Belize to have an amazing amount of biodiversity, which makes preparing the taxon identification cards very difficult. All I can hope for is that we’ll spot most of the trees and green algae that I included on the cards! I can’t wait to see what all of my classmates have been learning about for their taxa. I feel like I’ve learned so much from A Natural History of Belize but I’m sure that I’ll learn much more during our stay at Las Cuevas Research Station. I also was able to take a course on coral reefs this spring with Adrienne Correa. I am looking forward to using what I learned during our stay at Glover’s Reef.

One of the things that I am most excited for is staying at the Belize Zoo. It will be interesting staying in the midst of so many animals – and knowing that they’re there! I wonder if I’ll feel more or less surrounded by animals in the zoo than at Las Cuevas…

I have to admit, I am a little nervous about insects and spiders that we aren’t looking for. I should be protected from biting creatures, what with my new field pants, rubber boots, long shirts, and bug spray. I’m still expecting to get bites, but not serious ones.

I can’t wait to be immersed in the forests and reefs of Belize!

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