December 2019

December has been a lively month at Cloudbridge. On Christmas Day, we gathered for an afternoon of festivities, including a highly competitive game of croquet, pictured above.

We also shared international foods in a community potluck. Here, our bird intern Amauta dishes up traditional rice porridge, a recipe from her family in Norway. One lucky person had an almond in their porridge, winning a gift of chocolate.

Once everyone had their food, we gathered around the table to talk about how fortunate we feel to be together at Cloudbridge!

What holiday gathering would be complete without a white elephant gift exchange? Favorite presents included treats from the local chocolate shop, linens handmade in Cambodia, an Ultimate frisbee, and a bottle of Costa Rican wine.

Research and Interns

Although we said goodbye to a plethora of research interns and volunteers in December, we also welcomed some wonderful new staff, interns, and volunteers.

My name is Jeff Roth.  This is my third year coming to Cloudbridge, and my second as the Resident Biologist.  I have worked as a Field Biologist ever since I graduated with a degree in Biology in 2014.  I have worked all across North America focusing primarily on birds.  It was my passion for birds that first brought me to Cloudbridge and it’s what keeps bringing me back.

Hi, my name is Thimo, and I’m 21 years old. I’m a biology student from Holland, who loves to spend time in nature. I applied as a Cloudbridge volunteer currently helping on ongoing trail and tree maintenance throughout the reserve.

Hi! We are Greg and Christine and we volunteered at Cloudbridge for two weeks in December. We are both from Winnipeg, Canada and work as an engineer (Greg) and chemist (Christine) for our day jobs. This year we decided to take extended leaves of absence from our day jobs to explore the world; we choose to spend the last of our time off volunteering at Cloudbridge as a way to learn about conservation and give back to the community.

During our time at Cloudbridge we helped set up fruit traps, collect animal habitat data, assisted with frog, bird and owl surveys and relocated epiphytes off of a fallen tree – not to mention we did a lot of hiking. We really enjoyed learning about the on going research projects and the history of the nature reserve. We hope to be back one day.

Hello, I’m Alesha. I am a graduate student from the University of Miami studying soil and water nutrients at Cloudbridge. I have a degree in biochemistry. Currently, I am completing my degree in Exploration Science. I am excited to see where this research will lead thanks to Cloudbridge.

Here, our volunteers are working to re-establish the abundance of epiphytes in the cloud forest. They have collected them from the ground and are placing them in spaces where they will thrive.

Pictures from Staff, Interns, and VolunteersWhat’s cuter than a venomous snake trying to hide behind a tiny leaf? Nothing, we say! This pic was captured by our science coordinator Jenn near the staff house one evening.

Research intern Aoife captured an armadillo on one of her camera traps.

Do you see what we see? A very special moment happened when our frog researcher Sophia, and her assistant Thimo, spotted a margay in a tree during a night survey. We’re pretty sure this will be a lifelong memory for both of them.

This male Quetzal was spotted by resident expert Tom Gode in a tree not far from our main trail.

 This silk moth was hanging out near the classroom, attracting much attention.

This beautiful click beetle, photographed by guest Steve Lustgarden, looks like it’s all dressed up and ready for a party.

Recommended Reading

It’s pretty exciting to see 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg chosen as TIME’s Person of the Year.

Want to learn a bit more about what constitutes a healthy forest, in order to combat climate change? This article in Scientific American will help you see the forest for the trees.

If you’re planning to visit a national park in Costa Rica in 2020, you’ll likely be covered by an insurance policy in case of injury, as highlighted in this piece in the Tico Times.

The European Green Deal is a progressive model for the world. Learn about Europe’s goals to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050 here.

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