Carnegie Mellon University
June 01, 2016

Kolb Awarded Fulbright

Kolb Awarded Fulbright PhD student Chelsea Kolb of Cloquet, Minn., received a Fulbright award to investigate how projected climate change will impact aquifer levels in northwestern Costa Rica.

Working with a hydrologist at the National University of Costa Rica - Liberia Campus Center for Hydraulic Resources for Central America and the Caribbean, Andrea Suarez Serrano, Kolb with study how projected climate change will impact aquifer levels in northwestern region, Guanacaste Province.

This area has been subject to increasing demand due to changes in agricultural use and the booming tourism industry. To compound these existing challenges, water managers are concern about the potential impacts of climate change.

Guanacaste is expected to experience more severe droughts during the dry season and warming temperatures year round. These changes could impact water levels in local aquifers, exacerbating issues the region is already facing.

Starting in January 2017, Kolb and Serrano will develop water management strategies for local stakeholders, including those from the tourism industry, agriculture, and government, to determine best management practices for the region as climate change threatens an already scarce resource. Their focus will be on impacts to the subsurface aquifer system supplying drinking water for the city of Santa Cruz, located in the northern region of the Nicoya Peninsula.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects. During their grants, student researchers will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.