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  • Isabelle

"So wait... like what are you actually doing there, though?"

This week I’ve been challenged to write about what field work looks like for me to give you readers a better idea of what Emily and I are ~actually doing~. Let me paint the picture!

To collect data in the field, we pack tripods, antennas, handheld data-tracking devices, and snacks into a truck and head to Costa Rica’s more remote parts. There are benchmarks around the country that we aim for whose locations we’ve loaded onto our phones. Once we’ve located a benchmark, we unload the truck and in rain or shine, set up our tripods to collect data. What do I mean by collect data? Well we essentially set up an antenna perfectly level to the Earth and use the various satellites that circle our planet to pinpoint our exact location. The more hours that the antenna is collecting data, the more accurate the data is. Ideally we’d be out there for 3 days at a time! But Oscar settles for 6 hour collection periods. It’s been fun to learn!

Once we have the data, we go back to the lab and do post-processing. We pinpoint the coordinates and map the data in QGIS. This will help us make various geoid models and eventually we will be able to choose the best one. Here’s a shot of the first map Emily and I have made. It still could use some work, but those little red diamonds are the points we’ve surveyed (there are 2).

Work talk aside, it's been a great week. We have gotten to see more of the country and spend quality time with each other laughing, playing games, eating good food, and making loads of pop culture references. Thanks for tuning in!

- Isabelle

Here's a shot of field work.

Guru sloth motivated us through a hike to a waterfall in La Fortuna

And here's some of us at the waterfall this weekend!

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