this year from February to April I had the opportunity to do an internship with Isodrones in Costa Rica. During the field campaign in the “Estación Experimiental Forestal Horizontes” I could get my first impressions of current and innovative research, learn a lot and experience a unique nature.
For me it was the first time to be in a country in central america. So when I arrived from the cold of germany everything was a bit overwhelming. But with the relaxed costa rican take and the “pura vida” of everbody i felt pretty good from the start. At the beginning, we had to set up the experiment. I learned to install a climate tower and many different sensors like Sap-Flow and temperature sensors and also how to excavate root systems (what primilary means “how to dig holes”). I was actively involved in the planning of the experiment and in the later course I was given more and more responsibility by the team due to my newly learned skills. That made me feel like a full member of the group! As an intern!
We regularly measured the water potentials of leaves, took soil-, leaf- and xylem- samples, and in addition to these destructive measurements we also carried out in-situ measurements. Furthermore I was able to participate in the work with the drone and learn many usefull technically soft skills like “how to repair a (no matter why) burned mass flow controler with a soldering iron”.
We partly worked from early in the morning until late at night. However, it was also paid attention to the fact that a correct work leisure balance prevailed. Thus we could make several trips after this very time-intensive period. We got to know the flora and fauna of Costa Rica and had unique encounters with different wild animals. For me as a hobby photographer, this was an incredibly beautiful opportunity to take beautiful pictures and get to know the habitat of the dry rainforest. Especially the avifauna was surprisingly diverse. We saw a lot of birds like the wonderful turquoise browed motmot who visited us at our fieldside when we watered the trees or the common pauraque at night on the streets “jumping” arround and doing their funny calls.
It was an amazing time and I really wanna thank Matthias Beyer for the opportunity to be a part of the family of Isodrones and everybody of the team who made this to such amazing time. I hope I can join Isodrones again in some point! I would love to!
But words can’t discribe everything. So here are some pictures.