Molly Redfield ' 12

La Selva Biological Station - Costa Rica
Major: Environmental Studies

The time I spent in Costa Rica’s La Selva Biological Station this summer was invaluable not only because of the data I collected, but also because of the experience I gained in research science. The three datasets that I was a part of, while formidable on an excel spreadsheet, tell nothing of the excitement I felt while climbing tall ladders to sample leaves from the towering tree ferns or the dedication required for late nights spent in the lab preserving plant materials for anatomy work. Most importantly, though, the rows and columns of numbers can’t recount the relationships I formed with the other scientists on station who came from all around the world for fieldwork at La Selva. These scientists shared knowledge of their own work and experiences with me and, above all, provided me with a network of support and comradeship as I braved the torrential downpours of the rainy season and the stifling Central American heat to study tropical ferns in one of Costa Rica’s most extensive lowland rainforests.