2014 Interterm Field Trip to Costa Rica - BIOL-454

The students enrolled in this spring’s “Seminar in Tropical Biology” (BIOL-454, Professor Clotfelter) got a head-start in their studies with an Interterm field course in Costa Rica.  While in Costa Rica they studied the biota of three terrestrial habitat types (lowland tropical forests, montane cloud forests, and tropical dry forests) as well as the invertebrates of the rocky intertidal zone.  Learning alongside local specialists, the students learned more about taxonomic groups that are particularly significant in the tropics, such as bats, ants, and epiphytic plants.  Students conducted independent research projects on herbivory, pollination, butterfly activity patterns, and the community ecology of decomposers.  They will build upon these independent projects, and pursue new research topics, in the seminar to follow in the spring semester.

Students from BIOL-454 on hillside in Costa Rica, Interterm 2014

Rufous-Eyed Stream Frog

The rare rufous-eyed stream frog, a species which is making a comeback.

Suspended Bridge

Walking along a suspended bridge through the rainforest canopy.

Invertebrate Collecting

Collecting invertebrates in the intertidal zone at the Cabo BlancoAbsolute Reserve.

Rainforest Canopy

Locating birds in the dense rainforest canopy.

Tiny Octopus

We found and identified 11 different phyla of animals in one day, including this tiny octopus!

Restoration Project

Students spend a day assisting with a reforestation project in the Bellbird Biological Corridor near Monteverde.


One of the many hummingbirds found in the cloud forest.

Night Hikes

Dr. Rachel Levin leading students out for the first of several night hikes at the Tirimbina Biological Station in the lowland tropical rainforest.


Working with local experts to catch and identify different species of insect-eating and fruit-eating bats.