Field Work in Costa Rica Proves ‘An Amazing Experience’

On May 22, 2013 by Elizabeth Molina-Markham

ramsa_ellen_feature_editedNot every college student wants to spend 10 weeks in rural Costa Rica, working long hours in the field while battling muggy weather and vicious mosquitoes. But count Ellen Irwin ’14 as one who does.

“It was a lot of fun,” she says. “It was an amazing experience.”

Irwin spent a term last year working with Ramsa Chaves-Ulloa, a PhD student in the ecology and evolutionary biology program, collecting insects from 12 streams in rugged northwest Costa Rica. It was just one of the ways the two women, who have spent countless hours together in the classroom, field, and laboratory, have built a mutually beneficial academic relationship as mentor and mentee.

During their stay in Costa Rica, Chaves-Ulloa and Irwin collected hundreds of insects from different streams. Part of Chaves-Ulloa’s research is focused on Costa Rica, where she looks at whether human land use affects the number and type of insects in Costa Rican streams, and which insects, and how many of them, will emerge from the stream and perhaps be eaten by riparian predators such as spiders, bats, and lizards.

For the full article, go to the Dartmouth Now.

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