Published: Feb. 18, 2014

Geography and Environmental Science student volunteers standing outsideDuring the fall semester of 2013, twelve students from Geography and the Master of Science in Environmental Science volunteered to process historical aerial photos of the forests in the south of Costa Rica.

Under the direction of associate professor Rafael Moreno, students scanned, digitally enhanced and then geo-referenced photos from the 1960s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. The digital results are now available for use in Geographic Information Systems and Google Earth to support land use change studies and forest conservation efforts. This project is being developed in collaboration with "Las Cruces" Biological Research Station which is part of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). OTS is one of the oldest and most well-known institutions in the world working on the study and conservation of tropical forests. Students received letters of recognition from the OTS for their contributions.