Photo courtesy of Sonja Brandt
By Kaytlyn Kindschy
Students in an upper-level Biology class, Ecology and Natural History of Costa Rica, along with Dr. Fruend and Corey Gray, spent their spring break in the ecosystems of Costa Rica as a part of their studies before their trip was cut short by the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19.
Prior to coming home early, the tour spent time in the rainforest, the tropical dry forest and the tropical cloud forest. Students used their knowledge from class to view the world, and God’s creation, with a Christ-centered lens.
“Costa Rica is a great model place for biodiversity,” Fruend said, “Students spend eight weeks studying before they went on the trip.”
Wednesday, March 11, is when members of the study tour heard that they had to leave Costa Rica to come back to campus because of the coronavirus concern. When arriving back to school, everyone was told to self isolate for 14 days in order to monitor their health.
“When we received news that our trip would be cut short, we were disappointed,” Gray said, “We made the most of our last day in the country, and had a very seamless trip back to the states.”
When traveling back, the members of the study tour disinfected their areas on the planes they were on and stayed aware of their surroundings. Everyone involved with the trip is still in quarantine, however, they are all safe and healthy.
Dr. Fruend takes Biology students on a study tour every year and next year plans to travel to Ecuador to dive into the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Rainforest.
“I’d rather teach outside than inside any day,” Fruend said.