CIEE Final Symposium

Yesterday our three students – Jeff, Abbey, and Rachel – presented their internship projects at the CIEE final symposium. They did a great job and we are proud to be their supervisors. Before we go on, here’s the official 2012 Map Team photo, taken just after the symposium.

L to R: Abbey Jones, Jeff Maier, Ross Donihue, Marty Schnure, Rachel McMonagle

Jeff, whose internship was partnered with the local organization ProNativas, presented his maps showing the distribution of various invasive species at six Monteverde properties. Using his maps to show patterns, he discussed his conjectures about how they have spread. Jeff’s dataset that he has created for his internship will serve as the baseline for future surveys on those properties. His maps will guide landowners as they attempt to mitigate their invasives.

Abbey presented her maps of the reforestation efforts led by the Fundación Conservacionista Costarricense (Costa Rica Conservation Foundation). Before Abbey came along, the FCC had been actively planting and managing five reforestation sites without any maps or geospatial database to speak of. Thanks to Abbey’s hard work, the FCC now has a meticulously organized spatial database of almost all of their trees, fully equipped with all of the monitoring data the FCC has been gathering over the past ten years. This is a huge step for the FCC and future interns will be building off of Abbey’s work. In fact, now that Abbey has set up such a great dataset, our future interns will be able to conduct some cool spatial analysis using the data.

Rachel presented her work mapping natural forest springs and their macroinvertebrate ecologies. For her internship Rachel worked with classmate Jacob, local scientist Bill Haber, and local naturalist Eladio Cruz, all of whom focused on the inverts while Rachel focused on creating a spatial database of their data. Rachel’s dataset and maps allow the team to see spatial patterns in their abiotic and biotic data. Rachel’s work takes the research to a necessary next level and will assist with the monitoring of these natural forest springs over time.

Great work guys! We look forward to keeping in touch and planning for our next group of interns for the fall semester.

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