Barry van der Veeken
I am an Applied Biology student at HAS University in the Netherlands. As part of my education I got the privilege to do an internship abroad. I chose for Costa Rica and RPT because of the biodiversity, beautiful location and good reviews of other students.
During my time at RPT I am working on my own research and helping with other researches. The variety of this work and working in a passionated team is really stimulating and helps to gain knowledge and grow as a person.
My own research is about mammals, in special the family Procyonidae. The aim of this study is to find out which type of environment (different areas within the property) each mammal species of Procyonidae prefers the most. This study includes working with camera traps and mammal walks. These mammal walks take place during the day and during the night. On these walks you look for (signs of) mammals. The camera traps are placed in different areas within the property of RPT. These areas are dense forest, open forest, open area, water area, and an old banana plantation.
Some of the other researches I am helping with is a study on snakes, a crocodile monitoring program, turtle program, etc. RPT provides a good work environment, the team consists of experienced staff, interns, and volunteers. Every time you go out for your study at least one person of the staff joins you and some of the volunteers join. When you are doing your own research they really give you the opportunity to lead the research which is a good experience. Of course will they always provide help or feedback regularly.
When you are off there are lots of interesting places to visit, this is no problem with a bus stop almost in front of the station. Sunday is your day off, this day everybody goes to the beach to play some beach volleyball. Great fun and a good way to bond with each other.