Lisa Sheridan, 2019, Undeclared

Our work this summer was centered on conducting a survey of the tree saplings in test plots that we had previously established in the Santa Rosa National Park in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG). My job was to help identify sapling species, record their measurements, and tag them. The ultimate goal of our project is to combine this data with data from other surveys done on trees, soil composition, and fauna to make a model for forest regeneration after clearing has taken place (for example to make agricultural lands). This internship taught me how to turn curiosity about the natural world into a testable hypothesis and investigation that could result in valuable contributions to the scientific community. I also learned how intricate and difficult the process of conservation can be, but also how vital it is to preserve the world’s biodiversity.