Tomorrow morning I leave for Belize, where I will spend a week at Las Cuevas Research Station to explore the tropical rainforest and a week at Glover’s Reef Research Station to explore the coral reef. Even though I started getting everything I need around a month ago I still had to run to the store for the last item today. Now I finally feel like everything is reading to go for my time in Belize.
I have spent many hours researching different aspects of Belize to prepare for my trip including Orthoptera, Zoanthids, Corallimorphs, Anemones, and the geological and biogeographic history. I will hopefully be able to share this knowledge with others and use it as a base to learn more while I am there. It would be extremely exciting to have learned about something sitting at my desk at Rice and then be able to see it in real life. I am worried that I have missed some important Orthoptera species during my research and will not be able to identify the common species that I find in Belize, but even identifying one species will be exciting.
My previous experiences in the tropics were family vacations to Panama and Costa Rica. These trips were not dedicated to researching and learning about my surroundings like I expect this trip will be. I am particularly excited and nervous for the week at Glover’s Reef Research Station. I am excited because it will be a completely new experience. I have snorkeled when I was younger, but never paid close attention to what I was seeing. I am nervous because I have never snorkeled much below the surface and sometimes have trouble equalizing the pressure in my ears. I am sure I will have plenty of practice throughout the week, so hopefully I’ll feel comfortable by the end.