Research Trips… or Going on Dream Vacation?

Tri-Beta Club

Even though our Spring Break has already passed, most of the country is now gearing up for that mid-semester getaway.

You may still be dreaming of going to Mexico, St. Barts, or Hawaii, but sadly don’t have the money to get there. Well, a group of scientists is one step ahead of you.

They have been spending time in the most desirable vacation sites doing research. This is not a fad: even Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, traveled on the S.S. Beagle for five years and spent time in Central America in the 1800s. He explored the coasts of New Zealand, Tahiti, and the famous Galapagos Islands doing his research. He proposed the idea of evolution by natural selection, but also got to enjoy beautiful beaches and endless sunshine.

Throughout history, many scientists have gotten to work in the most popular vacation spots doing research that has changed the way we think. This may be your golden ticket to get to see the world at no cost at all.

Say you want to go to Australia. Lucky for you, the Great Barrier Reef sits off the coast of Australia. A simple research expedition of the Great Barrier Reef could land you on the coast of Australia. Just don’t scare the tiny blue-ringed octopi, they’re poisonous…

Have you ever noticed how most nature programs are in beautiful, lush, tropical places? From the coral reef to the Amazon, much nature research takes place in tropical areas.

Much organismal research depends on studying the differences between closely related organisms and how they interact in a single habitat. For this process to work, there must be many organisms in the same place. A tropical environment offers the most diversity of organisms in a single location. There’s a reason that new species are always being found in the rainforest.

Recently, one of the prospective professors interviewing for ASU shared tales of her research from all over the world. By studying caddis flies, insects that are found almost everywhere in the world, she still got to travel to Central and South America.

So where are we leading with this? Well, even here at ASU, there are opportunities for cheap travel to popular vacation spots relating to research.

The Porter Scholar program will be traveling to Costa Rica this summer for two weeks. Besides examining organismal, there will be time included to play at the beach, go shopping, and sightsee.

In conclusion, while you may have thought that all scientists were stuffy, boring creatures stuck in a laboratory or picking through lice on bats in caves, they’re actually quite smart. Getting to visit some of the most popular travel destinations on Earth while gaining knowledge that could potentially help humankind? That’s a pretty good deal for Spring Break or summer vacation.

Like this? Hate this? Want to find out more on how to be a Porter Scholar and go somewhere tropical? You could become a science major, or, for a less drastic change, attend a biology club meeting. Email us at with questions, comments, or topics you would like answered in a future article. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet