I’m currently at the Miami airport, about to embark on a 2 week trip to Costa Rica! The best part? I’m going to learn about and study beetles- and only beetles!!! I’m participating in a short course hosted by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) at La Selva Biological Station. The course is on Beetle Diversity and Systematics. It will be me and around 9 other graduate student beetle nerds from different parts of the US. Specifically, we will learn how to identify beetles and then put that knowledge to use by collecting beetles in a variety of ways (flight traps, ground traps, from the soil, from the leaf litter, etc.) and at all times of the day.
Our work will contribute to a wider beetle diversity assessment of the American Tropics, mostly notably adding to studies in Ecuador and Panama. You can read more about the course here. In addition, we are all required to complete a individual project on one group of beetles or one method of collecting. I’m thinking about dung beetles!!! Since I’ll be fairly busy with all things beetle for the next couple weeks, I decided that instead of blogging on conservation studies, I’ll share my experiences with you as I discover the beetles of La Selva, Costa Rica.