Responses to Orchard Hill Elementary School

Dear 3rd graders from Orchard Hill School in New Jersey:
Thanks very much for your questions! I am sorry it took me so long to respond, but I have returned from Panama and am now dealing with a lot of mail in my office, other than the Rainforest Connection! Here are my comments with your questions.

I like animals too. Oh, by the way I am David from Orchard Hill Elementary School in New Jersey. What is your favorite animal.
[My favorite animals are squirrels, but I also love ocelots and deer and anteaters and marmosas, and many others!]

Dear Mr. Scientist,
I wanted to ask you how you can do all the awesome things scientists do. I mean that scientists know so many neat stuff! My name is Emily and I go to OHES and my class is 3-Z.
[Dear Emily: First of all, I am Mrs. Scientist, but you may call me Jackie. Women can be scientists too! I studied a lot and worked hard and am very devoted to what I do. You can do the same.]

Dear Scientist
Hi, my name is Nora. Do you go into the rain forest almost every day? If you do, do you like it in the rain forest?
- Nora
[Dear Nora: When I am in Panama, I am living in a building that is in the forest, and I go walking in the forest every day. I like it very much. You have to love it to do this every day. But I am in New Jersey now, where I live the rest of the year, and I miss the tropical forest.]

Dear scientist,
Why is the rain forest hot? Do people live in the rain forest? Is it scary? Are thir any slimy animales? Did you know about the gecko that can curl up on a dime?
[The forest is not so hot because the trees provide shade. About 73 to 82 degrees. Yes, there are scientists and native peoples who live in forest. No, it is beautiful, not scary. There are very few slimy animals, not like New Jersey where there are so many slugs! What gecko do you mean?]

I love animals as specially tropical animals. What continent do you explore? I have a lot of pets such as a bearded dragon, dog, water dragon. Do you like my pets.
[I like pets, but I prefer animals to be in their natural habitats. I work in Panama, in Central America.]

Dear scientist,
Do you know how big the rain forest really is? Is there more then one rain forest? How many animals are in the rain forest?
Your friend,
[Alex: There are so many kinds of rain forest and so many animals in them that I cannot figure the answer to your question. But how big it is now is not as important as the fact that there is less of it every day. This is because people are cutting down forest at a rapid rate.]

Dear Scientist,
My name is Amanda,I am a 3rd grader in Orchard Elementary School. How much rain can fall in a year in the rainforest.
Yours truly,
[Dear Amanda- 100 inches of rain or more.]