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  • Writer's pictureMariya Galochkina

Our First Field Trip

This blog comes a day late — yesterday was a long day, and I desperately needed to shower and sleep by the end of it.

I woke up at 5:45 in the morning and got ready to head to La Sabana (a large park in San Jose) with Jon and Jesus. Amalia, a graduate of UCR who is working at Lanamme on her licenciatura, and Juan Luis, an employee of the National Seismological Network of Costa RIca (RSN), kindly invited us along on Amalia's fieldwork. We drove about an hour and a half to San Ramon, where a highway has been under construction for many years but has been plagued by landslides, fault slips, and heavy rain. Amalia's project involves carefully mapping the lithology and other geological features along the side of the highway, so yesterday's fieldwork consisted of stopping every 30 meters or so and getting out of the truck to take observations and record them on her LIDAR-generated topographic maps of the area.

The highway is off limits to everyone but those with proper credentials, so we were pretty much the only people on that particular stretch of the highway all day.

We got to view the site where they started to build a bridge, but stopped because it was beginning to tilt.

I was grateful for the opportunity to get out of the city for a day and see some nature (and most importantly, some cool geology). Since New Jersey sits on a passive margin, we don't have a lot of natural disasters and don't have to take in nearly as much into consideration when our infrastructure is built, so I found it fascinating to see the amount of geological, geotechnical, and civil engineering studies that have to go into surveying an area before it is built upon.

When we returned to San Jose, we moved into our permanent apartments for the rest of our stay here, and met two geology undergraduate students from the university.

All in all, I feel like I'm starting to finally settle in. I'm no longer constantly on edge while driving through the traffic here (well, most of the time), I'm slowly starting to get my bearings in the areas surrounding our hostel, and we finally have accumulated a decent amount of groceries. I'm excited to meet more people and find out what this week will bring.

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