Saturday, January 7, 2017

Great Start in Costa Rica

    As soon as we arrived at Horizontes we were fed lunch. It included rice, beans and delicious chicken. After lunch we had a little bit of free time which was mostly spent relaxing on top of the watch tower and playing soccer. Then we met the turtle specialists to discuss the procedures and rules about patrolling for turtles.We ate dinner and prepared to leave for the beach around 8:30.

    We arrived at the beach around 9:00 and Scott and Jake went on the first patrol. The first patrol was unsuccessful. Sam went on the patrol after and that one was also unsuccessful. We all decided to get a little bit of sleep in while the other kids went out on a patrol. At about 1 o'clock in the morning we were awoken with the good news that a turtle had been found. We hiked down the beach to where the rest of the team was and were told to be patient and wait for the turtle to start nesting.

    At about 2:00 am the turtle started to lay eggs so it was alright for us to go look at it. The turtle was a Black Turtle and it was absolutely fascinating to watch the nesting process. We watched as the specialists tagged the turtle with a microchip and a metal chip with a number on it. Both tags were put into the right flipper of the turtle. Around 3:30 am the turtle finally climbed out of the hole it made and slowly made its way back to the water. Around 4:00 am we left the beach and all climbed into bed the second we got back to Horizontes.

    We got the opportunity to sleep basically all day and hang around Horizontes. We climbed the watch tower, played cards and had an excellent breakfast and lunch. Breakfast consisted of eggs, sausage, yogurt, fresh fruit, rice and beans. For lunch we had tuna pasta, fried fish and pork. A lot of the students went on a hike through the forest. On their way back they encountered a group of Capuchin monkeys. We capped off the day with a delicious dinner featuring chicken and beef.
 The view from the watchtower.  

Turtle tracks on the beach. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Trinity Students Arrive Safely in Costa Rica

Three students from Trinity High School, in Louisville, KY, have safely arrived in Liberia, Costa Rica. Sam Roth, Scott Graehler, and Jake Sedwick will be joining a group of 15 other students from around the US to experience sea turtle research.

We had a great flight and were extremely glad to be out of the cold weather (and into a balmy 90 degrees). After a short, but bumpy ride from Liberia Airport to Horizontes research center, we sat down to a great lunch and time to run around.

Pick up game of soccer.

This little guy is perched above Mr. Heintz's door. 

Mr. Heintz

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

3 Students Return for Turtle Research

Three Trinity students return to Costa Rica to participate in ongoing sea turtle research. They are traveling from Jan 6th to the 9th to work with professors from Purdue University, Drexel University and members of The Leatherback Trust's Goldring Marine Biology Research Station. These young men will be helping the scientist with nesting Eastern Pacific Green Turtles (aka: Black Sea Turtle).

Image result for eastern pacific green sea turtle

Scott Graehler, Sam Roth, and Jacob Sedgwick

Wish them luck as they continue their journey in Costa Rica.

Mr. Heintz

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Perfect Ending To A Wonderful Trip

Day 10 was a perfect ending to a wonderful trip, (science, research, and the culture of Costa Rica). We began our day with a long hike through the dry forest of Horizontes Research Station. Our guide, Julio, was an excellent source of information as we made our way through the thorny brush and muddy trails. When we finally arrived back at the dorms, we got to see a large troop of monkeys in the trees. After lunch, we took off for an afternoon in the sun, surf, and BBQ on the beach.

 view from the observation tower

 view from the observation tower

 hike with Julio


 our beach from above

our beach from above

 Trinity boys having fun

The remote beach, only used by locals, is several kilometers long with white sand and clear blue water. The students spent all afternoon playing in the surf before eating skewered beef, chicken, and pineapple (slow cooked over a pit fire). Nothing but the best for a job well done.

Thanks to all those that made this trip possible. Pablo y Ana, John Doleman, our guides, cooks, drivers (shout out to Felix and Ecolife Tours Costa Rica) and especially the parents for allowing your son to participate with us. THANKS.

We are leaving tomorrow morning and will be arriving in Louisville around 11:40pm tomorrow night. I look forward to seeing everyone at the arrival terminal.

Flight DL 2491 07JUN2016 Depart ATL1021P  Arrive SDF 1140P
DEPART: ( ATL ) Atlanta Ga ARRIVE: ( SDF ) Louisville Ky

Mr. Heintz

Blog for June 5th, 2016

       After some awesome presentations the night before, breakfast was pushed back until eight o'clock. We all caught up on some well deserved sleep and had some delicious rice and beans with fresh papaya. We said goodbye and thanked  Pinto, Juan and Ibrahim. Then we departed from Finca La Anita at around 9:30. It felt good to be done with our research and have presentable information but Finca La Anita will be missed.

       Trinity  students rode in a big white van from Finca La Anita to a place called Horizontes. The ride was extremely interesting because of all the mountain ranges, different ecosystems and quite a few villages and towns. We got to see a lot of Costa Rica and all that it had to offer. The ride was a little bit bumpy but after about 3 hours we arrived to Horizontes.

     Once we arrived at Horizontes we had a quick lunch after settling in to our new rooms. The rooms are a bit different from the ones at Finca La Anita. There are 4-6 students in each room, and the rooms are complete with bunk beds and a small shelf. They are definitely not as nice as Finca La Anita's but were are still very grateful to have somewhere to sleep.

      After lunch we headed over to the class room to listen to a presentation by Horizontes director, Vanessa. It was a very interesting and informative presentation about Horizontes' research and conservation efforts. After her presentation Mr. Doleman had a small presentation of his own. He talked about the decline in creativity caused by the school system and consequently the decline of Americans that choose to be scientists or engineers. He then told us about the Acacia tree and psuedomyrmex ants that are completely dependent on each other. We were then sent out into the field to see if we could find out why. We noticed the ants live inside the trees thorns and feed of the tree. In return they defend the tree against predators, in this case it was us! After this we sat back down and listened to a presentation about sea turtles by Dr. Nathan Robinson who is part of the leather back foundation.

  After dinner, we were all geared up and ready to go find a sea turtle. We left Horizontes at about 7:30 and arrived at the beach at 8:05. When we got to the beach we split into groups and set up a "base camp" with blankets and towels. One or two groups would walk down the beach while the other groups rested. We would switch about every 30-40 minutes. Unfortunately we did not see any turtles. It was still a great night as the sky was extremely clear and the stars were shining very brightly. It was very nice to just sit on the beach and listen to the waves crash. We left to beach around midnight and we all got to bed as soon as we got back.

By: Jake Sedgwick


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Day 8... Sensoria and Research Presentations

It’s been a crazy few days, but yesterday may have been the craziest. We journeyed up to a resort called Sensoria in the middle of the rainforest. To get there, we had to drive through bumpy roads in the wilderness for an hour and a half. Needless to say, the drive was exhausting, mostly because it felt like riding a small boat in a hurricane. It was fun too though, because the combination of headphones, great music, friends, and scenery distracted us from the jolts. We stopped, had lunch, and drove again.
When we finally arrived at the resort, it didn’t take long for us to get on the trails and out towards our mystery destinations. Most used the restroom, applied some bugspray, and were off. The hike wasn’t nearly as bad as the one we experienced early this week, mostly due to the presence of stairs and the lack of a muddy slope with a 45 degree angle (if you can’t tell, I’m still bitter over that hike).
The first destination greeted us with a massive roar of rushing water. We stepped down into a secluded enclave right next to a jungle stream, and in the enclave was a huge waterfall. It was 30, maybe 40 feet tall, and sprinkled anyone facing it with a fine layer of mist. I was mesmerized. I stood watching it so long that the mist had drenched me as surely as if I’d been swimming by the time I stepped away.
The next destination was a swimming hole downstream of the waterfall. Now, I didn’t get in it, because I didn’t want to get wet, but everyone’s insistent screeches about the water temperature being basically subzero let me know I made the right choice.
We then went to a swimming hole further up the main path. I didn’t want to swim, but I finally got in- and this one was a bit warmer. The water felt like heaven, and was incredibly clear. The boys all had fun roughhousing. Despite the joy of that one, our guides had saved the best for last.
The final swimming hole was a hot spring. I’ve never felt such a beautiful sensation. It felt like swimming in the nectar of the gods, like I was lounging in ambrosia. The hot spring was just amazing. We relaxed, wrestled a little, and then went back to the resort to eat some cookies and dry off. I changed into dry clothes and relaxed as best as I could on the bumpy car ride. I was so exhausted that I went through our science presentations on autopilot.

Side note: Olivia Simpson, Jacob Steele, and yours truly achieved success on our experiment! Our hypothesis was proven through extensive testing.

By: Jacob Romines

Last night was an extremely successful evening as each of the student groups presented their research projects. Mrs. Bohannon, Dr. Pinto, Juan, Ibrahim, Pablo y Ana, the other teachers, and myself were very impressed with how much they learned about planning, organizing, and executing a research project. Over the coming days, I will upload their research presentations for everyone to view. You should be very proud of their accomplishments.

We would also like to invite everyone to come see our students present their findings on Thursday, June 23rd, at 7pm in Convocation Hall. Don’t miss a great time… and don’t miss a sample of Finca La Anita Chocolate.


Mr. Heintz