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  • Andrew Marden

University Connections

Hi! Andrew Marden here coming from North Jersey to give a little background about myself and what I'll be doing with the project! I am going to be a senior Civil Engineering major this fall, and I have always had a very strong interest in the natural world. I always try to spend as much time as I can outside, where my hobbies range from wildlife photography to hiking all over the state of New Jersey to observe all of the natural phenomena that we have to offer here. Our natural world here does not include earthquakes, although I have always been fascinated by them. I had heard about the GREAT project from two friends and knew that it would be a match made in heaven for me, as I look forward to applying what I learn from this project into designing landslide and earthquake-safe buildings. Not to mention the fact that I would be able to study more of the natural world in relation to my major in a setting as unique as Costa Rica! While we may not be there in person, I am still very excited to learn about landslides and creating landslide susceptibility maps, which is where I will be working in the project.

As Lea mentioned before, I am working with her, Dr. Paulo Ruiz, some students from the University of Costa Rica, and some students and staff from Indiana University to try to create more accurate landslide susceptibility maps, which show how likely an area is to experience a landslide, for the country of Costa Rica. I have never done research like this before, however I am incredibly excited to do so with such an awesome opportunity as this. I'm also looking forward to being a part of a project that has 3 different universities involved at the moment, as it will be fantastic to collaborate on a project that hopefully can benefit the country by better predicting which areas are prone to landslides. We will be taking various data points such as rainfall, slope of the land, and type of rock or lithology among other things to try to consider what makes a region more likely to have a landslide occur. This data can then be mapped and compared with the actual landslide data to see how close the project is to accurately mapping where landslides will occur. The combined efforts of the University of Costa Rica, Rutgers, and Indiana University will hopefully benefit this project by figuring out how to combine years of data into these maps. It's a very exciting project to be a part of, and I look forward to both learning from and contributing to this research!

Also, it seems like people are posting pictures of what they did this summer, so I'll offer up two of mine. I did a camping trip in the Adirondacks in June that was thankfully safe and free from contact with other people, and I was able to snag these two shots. The first is of the beautiful Massawepie Mire, and the second is of an Eastern Whip-poor-will, a type of bird that sings at night. I am very happy with both of these and hope that you enjoy them as much as I do! I'm looking forward to updating you all again next Friday!

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