In Costa Rica, we conduct the majority of our research at our station in the cloud forests near Monteverde. The station, established in 2008, sits on 100 hectares of primary and secondary growth forest within Finca Jamaical, a farm owned and operated by Mr. Gustavo Orozco, a local naturalist and guide. This remarkable facility sleeps 20 students in a well-equipped tree house, literally immersing them in one of the most biologically diverse landscape on the planet! There are also two faculty bungalows.
Our research at the station involves both graduate and undergraduate students. Undergraduates have the opportunity to partake in a series of projects ranging from forest hydrology, mapping, species identification and reforestation. Faculty who lead field trips to Costa Rica both within the semester (e.g. the Tropical Biology field trip) and during the summer (e.g. Environmental Issues in Costa Rica, which is open to students from across campus) supervise these projects. Graduate students also conduct their thesis research at the station on topics ranging from land use and soil properties to quantifying forest structure. The station provides a unique opportunity to conduct long-term studies on the flora, fauna, soils, hydrology, and geophysical nature of this biologically significant area and we welcome other universities and colleges joining us!
Graduate Theses conducted in Costa Rica:
Lisenby, 2013. “A Reach-Scale Characterization of a Second-Order, Tropical, Montane Stream: Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning to Relate Channel Morphology to the Distribution of Stream Power and Shear Stress”.
Ozenick, 2010. “Identifying priority areas for conservation: Methods using GPS and GIS tools to represent biodiversity in Costa Rica”.
Tower, 2010. “Spatial and temporal variability of soil properties under multiple land use, Costa Rica”.
Schlipmann, 2009. “Base-line hydrology for a long-term stream monitoring program: A first step toward sustainable water management at the Texas Christian University tropical research station”.
Dezendorf, 2009. “Sustainable tourism as a working model of new conservation in the Monteverde zone, Costa Rica”