This is an exciting project because research is being conducted at five different locations around the world: Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. In all five locations you will have the opportunity to spend time in the local forest gathering and identifying caterpillars and the plants they feed on. You may also conduct experiments or spend time in the laboratory raising caterpillars and working on chemical analyses.
In Florida your team will work in the forests around Eglin Air Force Base in the panhandle of Florida. The base has maintained over 180,000 hectares of longleaf pine forest, which accounts for over half of the remaining old growth forest in the United States.
In Nevada you will conduct caterpillar research in the fore and desert communities associated with the Sagehen Creek Research Station and the Galena Creek Lodge in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the adjacent Great Basin Desert.
In Arizona you will start at the Southwest Research Station (SWRS), which is located in the Chiricahua Mountains surrounded by woodlands of oak, juniper, and pinyon pine trees. Then you will move to the Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER), which is one of the five oldest field stations in America and scientists have been conducting research here for over 100 years.
In Ecuador you will be based at the Yanayacu Biological Station and Center for Creative Studies (www.yanayacu.org), which is situated at the equator on the eastern slope of the Andes, three to four hours from Quito.
In Costa Rica you will be based at La Selva in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica near the town of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and conduct research in the tropical forest an and abandoned pasture and cacao plantations.