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Senior Environmental Science Major Participates in Summer Research in Costa Rica

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Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Over the summer, senior environmental science major Tia Kowalo received a research grant from the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research to assist Dr. Diana Ortiz with a research pilot study in Costa Rica. Kowalo and Ortiz spent time collecting, identifying, and conducting host DNA analysis of blood-fed mosquitoes at the Lomas Barbudal Biological Preserve, located near the city of Bagaces in northern Costa Rica, to determine the mosquitoes host feeding preferences.

Kowalo believes that her research experience provided her with important skills that she will use in her future career in environmental science. She also enjoyed getting to do research in a setting that was less structured than a classroom.

"I found it more tiring but less challenging," said Kowalo. "I am more of a visual, and hands on person, so it definitely helped me to learn the processes in the field. I enjoyed working in the field more than learning in a classroom."

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190