Week 2 in review

From: Osinski, Brianna
Sent: June 16, 2014, 12:42 am
To: White, Peter S
Subject: Week 2 in review

Hello Dr. White!

Wow….wow, wow, wow, WOW! Ok, I think that starts to do justice to how amazing this place is. This last week was even more wonderful than the first! I went to my first Tupper talk. I’m not sure if they had them while you were here, but if not they are weekly science talks in the city about whatever the guest lecturer is studying. This week’s was on the behavior of deep-sea fish. The main message was, well, apparently we don’t know much about the behavior of deep see fishes and more research is needed. Now I know.

The frog people have our own talk in Gamboa each week and our talk was way cooler (biased? Me?). We learned about the mate choice of strawberry poison dart frogs and the ability of tadpoles to hatch prematurely when under attack by things such as snakes. So neat! Backtracking now, after the Tupper talk I got to have my first visit to Casco Viejo. The architecture was beautiful and I think to truly appreciate it I’ll need to go back during the daytime and stroll around.

I also got to go on my first hike off of Pipeline. Mike Ryan took us down Rio Mendosa and showed us where we could go swimming under the waterfalls! Talk about breathtaking. And, there were howler monkeys. Up to that point I’d only heard them from afar but there they were, just chillin’ in the trees. While cool, they were not the sloth that I have my heart set upon seeing. I don’t think I can leave Panama before seeing one of those amazing, slow critters which the people at the church I’m attending here told me are called “perezoso,” literally lazy. I hear my best chance of seeing one is when they fall out of trees, which is a far less isolated event than I would have thought.

Today I got to check out the canal. There is a museum at the Miraflores locks. You get to watch the ships go through and then you have four floors of history. What an amazing feat of human engineering and stubbornness! Brianna bird

Oh, yes, I’m also doing this whole “work” thing while I’m here, you know, in my spare time. We get to go out into the field every night, play with frogs, and see other wonderful creatures at the same time (armadillo, tarantula, caiman, collared aracari, leptodactylus pentadactylus…to name a few). And now I’m getting to help another researcher on the side with genetic work, which, paired with field work, is my true passion. Behavioral studies are neat, but, oh genetics, be still my heart. There’s nothing quite like handling the building blocks of life in a 50 mL collection tube to instill awe in a person.

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  1. By Letters from Panama, Summer 2014 – OURblog on July 28, 2014 at 8:03 am

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