Today we are leaving Costa Rica. Yesterday, each group finalized the reports they've been working on for so many months and presented their findings to the mentors, students, friends, and other guests. It was a success! Kyle and Rosa spoke about determining landslide susceptibility, Joyce spoke about seismic interpretation, and Emily and I spoke about geoid model determination. Jim even presented a bit about his thesis work.
This week has been an adventure and a great learning experience. Emily and I finally got to use the gravimeter, and we collected 15 quality data points that have never been collected before in the San Vito region around Routes 612, 613, and Alturas. We cannot wait to get back to Rutgers, post-process the data, and take a look at the results. The results of our data should tell us something about gravity anomalies there. We will learn how to calculate those in the coming semester. A highlight of the two full days that we spent using the gravimeter was at the end of the second day. We were positioned in the middle of a soccer field in a small town and the sun was setting behind the mountain. The gravimeter is very sensitive to passing cars, wind, and even footsteps. It was having a lot of trouble giving us a good reading, and we were all going a little crazy. Oscar ended up tossing his pen and clipboard in defeat and Emily and I could not stop laughing. Finally, we got a quality reading when it was dark and we were cartwheeling and dancing around the field. It is a memory that will always make me smile!
Now is the proper time to reflect on our time here. I felt proud to give that final presentation yesterday, because it was a comprehensive summary of all of our efforts. We could really see just how far we had come. Emily and I knew little about geology, and we have come out of this experience knowing important geophysics/geodesy theory, QGIS, Linux, GNSS antennae and gravimeter data collection concepts. I am so grateful and happy to have been a part of this project with such influential mentors.
Thank you to all of our mentors, Paulo, Oscar, and Ivonne. They made our experience here. Thank you to all of the friends along the way who taught, guided, and welcomed us. Gato, John Paul, Krista, Juan Luis, Amalia, Jenny, Pilar, Cristina, Alonso, Jaime, Alejandro, and I know there's many more! Thanks to Chuck and Catie at Rutgers. And most of all, thanks to Vadim for mentoring us day in and day out in Costa Rica and at Rutgers.
Chao, Costa Rica!