The University of Georgia Costa Rica 2014-2015 Sustainability Report UGA Costa Rica 2014 - 2015 Sustainability Report - Page 27

Biodigester Research Rachel Durham Over the summer of 2015, Rachel Durham served as the Landscape Architecture intern where she did research on the planning and construction of biodigesters. Social sustainability is a major factor of UGA Costa Rica’s sustainability initiatives. One such way the campus positively impacts the local community is through the biodigesters. As part of her research for her master’s thesis, 2015 Landscape Architecture Intern Rachel Durham is conducting a feasibility analysis of these biodigesters in the community. Rachel developed an extensive questionnaire for those in the community with biodigesters that highlights best management practices, methods, and designs for successful implementation. Those answering the survey are free to ask questions regarding their own biodigesters, receiving crucial feedback in the process. Through this survey, she hopes to gain a better understanding of local issues surrounding production and upkeep of biodigesters. Rachel is assisting UGA Costa Rica in writing a funding proposal to extend the construction of biodigesters throughout the Bellbird Biological Corridor, helping protect important watersheds and habitats for species found nowhere else on the planet. Her research will be critical towards the planning and construction of future biodigesters. This will impact the region in a multitude of ways. Primarily, new biodigesters will help clean wastewater, which is imperative in an area lacking a municipal water cleaning system. Furthermore, a new alternative energy source, methane, will be available for individuals to take advantage of. Rachel’s research has the potential to significantly Rachel is assisting UGA Costa Rica in writing a funding proposal to extend the construction of biodigesters throughout the Bellbird Biological Corridor. impact not only the San Luis community, but the Bellbird Biological Corridor as well. 2014 – 2015 Sustainability Report 27