Gustavus Student Participates in Physical Geography Research Project in Costa Rica

Posted on July 18th, 2012 by

Rachel Oien ’13, a Gustavus environmental studies and geology student, is working on a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates in Costa Rica. Rachel’s work is physically demanding, involving rappelling down steep slopes and augering soil samples from the forest floor. Student researchers can take satisfaction in knowing that their efforts are important. The project is aimed at understanding the interaction of soils and vegetation in the water balance of the tropical montane cloud forest. Since the project examines both undeveloped and altered sections of the watershed, it will help scientists understand how rainforest cutting alters streamflow and water availability. The project is a multi-year project and will continue in 2013 so interested students should watch for next year’s application deadline. The project is based in the Geography, Civil Engineering, and Crop Sciences Departments at Texas A and M University and the project website is at:


One Comment

  1. Amanda Young says:

    Great Post and way to go Rachel.
    I am both a Gustavus Grad (2003-Biology & Scandinavian Studies) and Texas A&M Grad (2008 – M.S. Geography). While at Texas A&M I was fortunate enough to go to Costa Rica on the two original mapping expeditions of the property. Have fun, watch out for fluer de lance, and I hope you are have an experience of a life time. When you get back to College Station, if you feel like you need to meet up with a Gustie for any reason, Bill Rogers is a faculty member in Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.