CALDWELL — After three weeks in Belize, ten students and multiple professors from the College of Idaho are back in the Gem State with a new appreciation for our planet and how important it is to protect it. Now they're back with a deeper appreciation for ecosystems outside the United States.
The students would wake up bright and early in the morning to study field biology in different parts of the country, from the rainforest to the coast.
"Some days we were out canoeing and we were learning about aquatic insects on some of the Belizian rivers, some days we were out looking for tarantulas," said Chris Walser, a Professor of Biology at the College of Idaho.
They saw and studied over 120 different species of birds, hiked in the Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve, and also learned about fish ecology and threats to coral reef systems.
"When we were snorkeling in Tobacco Key, we were lucky, very fortunate enough to see a green Atlantic Sea Turtle," said Aleah Mendiola, a student at the College of Idaho, who also said, "Going into it, I wasn't quite sure what career I wanted and still am not super sure today, but I have more of an idea."
Many of the students say it made them more passionate about the field of work they are getting ready to enter.
"Students learned a lot about field biology and I think it was really successful," said Professor Walser.
Students of all disciplines at College of Idaho are no strangers to trips like these, the college says many of their 960 students have opportunities to expand their knowledge outside Idaho, multiple times each year.