Getting my Head Out of the Clouds

Bethany Loya

As I begin to plan for my flight back to Tampa and my upcoming graduation, I am immensely grateful that I had the chance to collaborate with the University of South Florida Civil and Environmental Engineering program as well as the University of Georgia Costa Rica campus.

I am grateful for the mentorship I received my PCGS advisors, Dr. Sarina Ergas and Fabricio Camacho. Both spent time not only instructing, but also sharing a greater vision of how the work I performed could benefit the beautiful community of San Luis that I grew fond of during my stay.

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Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Bethany Loya

Hi again!

These past few weeks have really flown by. Since my last post, we have given the OK for the new biodigester to begin running and have started our Biochemical Methane Potential Assays (BMPs).

Originally, we did not plan to observe and assist with the construction of UGA Costa Rica’s new tubular anaerobic digester. Fortunately, plans changed and I was able to learn all about what it takes to build a tubular anaerobic digester for a farm here in San Luis.

Not only was the process impressive, but the cooperation of the staff and the process of problem solving reminded me that projects like this cannot be done alone. This biodigester is adjacent to an already functional digester and will also provide methane to the UGA Costa Rica campus kitchen up the hill. The hope is that this farm can serve as a model for farmers to visually see an alternative…

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A New Home: Biodigester Research

Bethany Loya

It’s been a little over two weeks since I arrived here in Costa Rica and so much has happened!

20160625_103945 I am performing this summer’s research with Phillip Dixon (Left), a PhD student through the USF Civil and Environmental Engineering program.

Today we are comfortably settled here in the UGA Costa Rica Lab, the new biodigester is about ready to run, and we are setting up another experiment!

First, let me take a few steps back:

On June 15th we flew in to San Jose Costa Rica, but not before our plane lost signal with Costa Rica and we had to fly back to the Ft Lauderdale airport. Turns out airplanes can’t land in certain airports when they are full of fuel due to weight. So, we spent the about two hours in the air flying over the everglades (taking great pictures) and burning fuel (wondering how many Meatless Mondays I…

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