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Testimonial: John Guittar, Grinnell College

John Guittar

As a youngish college student with no international experience and a poor track record in Spanish class, I signed up for an ACM semester in Costa Rica eager for a vaguely alien adventure to broaden my horizons. The ACM spring semester program in Costa Rica is unique in that it gives students like me ample freedom to explore a new country on our own terms, while still demanding enough structure and self-accountability to ensure that the semester is productive and successful. My experience studying Scarlet Macaw nesting on the Osa Peninsula was foundational to my future: it led to a peer-reviewed publication, and prepared me for three years of public service and science in Belize, Namibia, Colombia, Ecuador, and the Mojave Desert. Now, as a student at University of Michigan, my Spanish language skills and tropical fieldwork experience will again serve me as I pursue a PhD on the evolution of tropical tree communities in Ecuador. Many thanks, ACM.

—John Guittar, biology major

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