One EGS Student's Dream Project for Environmental Research
EGS Major, Emily Davis, has been working on a research project supervised by Professor Chowdhury on the Effects of watershed characteristics on ecosystems of Costa Rican cloud forest of Mt. Chirripó. Emily will spend the entire Spring 2009 Semester in Costa Rica.
At high elevations in the Talamancan Mountain Range in Costa Rica there are very sensitive ecosystems that are endangered because of the deforestation of the rain forest at lower elevations. Cloud forest is the name given to temperate rainforests at higher elevations, where there is persistent mist or clouds at the vegetation level. There is a relatively small band of altitude in which the atmospheric environment is suitable for cloud forest development. They are characterized by acute sensitivity to change in their environment, especially the changes in their water system. Because the forest is so sensitive, and has a high degree of biodiversity and endangered species, it is important to study the forest and find ways to work and save these ecosystems.
The purpose of this research project is to analyze the hydrologic systems of the Costa Rican cloud forest of Mt. Chirripó, and to determine its importance to the environment and surrounding communities.