We had one free day in San Jose, so we decided to leave the city and head to the most visited national park in Costa Rica, Poas Volcano.
The drive goes through several different scenaries; these are the coffee plantations around the volcano. Because the volano is still active and regularily spits out fresh ash, the soils are fertile and coffee is the most popular crop.
Best running weather ever!!! I could totally live in a place as gorgeous as this forever (can we move Caltech?) but sadly, the misty-ness meant we couldn’t see the volcano.
On the bright side… the craters are filled with super acidic water, making them a great place to study interesting microbial life, so maybe I’ll be back one day!
Poas has two craters, only one of which is active. The 500 m “hike” to the non-active volcano goes through a “cloud forest” rainforest ecosystem. Super breathtaking! Of course, the second crater was filled with fog, too.
I wonder what makes the yellow shins evolutionary favorable… they’re cute!
These big plants are called the “poor man’s umbrella.” They’re huge and really thick, perfect for the weather up here!
My camera is pretty new, so I got to practice using the burst mode :) There’s room for improvement!
We were already leaving, and trailing the rest of the group, but the wind picked up in the direction away from the crater so we decided to sprint back – and indeed, we got to see a little more of the volcano!!!
Getting to go the volcano was a great part of this trip, and I definitely want to go back some day to see the real crater! (Or even better, our tour guide mentioned that the only way to get to the actual lake is to be a scientist who needs to collect samples - so maybe one day, that will be essential to my research!)
Almost a year ago now, I was just about to start my first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at JPL. NASA had sent out an email to all of their summer interns containing a social media template to announce that we had been selected as NASA interns. Excited to show my NASA pride, I posted it on my Instagram story, unaware of what would come out of this small action.
Hey hey! We’re starting a series where I walk you through my best finds for food and drinks in the Pasadena region, and in the LA metropolitan area. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, if you will (although, for copyright reasons we can’t call it that). As you explore your college options, I firmly believe that food and location are more important than your high school guidance counselor may lead you to believe. And I’m here to share my best finds from my time at Caltech with you.
Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the mentorship of senior research technologist Dr. Xiaoqing Pi. Dr. Pi’s guidance and mentorship has been instrumental to the development and success of my internship at JPL, where I use machine-learning to enhance the accuracy and integrity of navigation and communication signals. In addition to helping me develop an understanding of atmospheric and ionospheric remote sensing and machine-learning, Dr. Pi has often offered his insights on how to improve my researching skills. Dr. Pi was generous enough to take the time to answer a few questions regarding his research and advice for future student interns. I believe many students can benefit from some of the lessons that he has taught me:
The transition period to remote learning was a very uncertain time, especially for research and the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program. Many hands-on projects had to pivot at the last minute to facilitate off-campus contributions. However, many Techers were able to take advantage of the research opportunities offered at Caltech and JPL to make the best out of remote learning and research. To paint a picture, I’ve interviewed a few talented Techers for some insight on what researching from home looks like for them.