Faculty Advisor

Belz, Melissa

Faculty Advisor

Rosbach, Derren

Project Center

Costa Rica


The Área Conservación de Guanacaste National Park in Costa Rica experiences frequent wildfires that destroy the dry tropical forest. This project, in collaboration with the University of Costa Rica, addresses the duality of wildfire risk by studying vegetation combustion characteristics and social complexities regarding fire usage. We procured plant samples in the National Park to test at the Combustion Laboratory and outlined procedures for further testing to create a more comprehensive wildfire risk assessment. Furthermore we conducted interviews to better understand the consequences of clearing pastures with fire and suggested expanding educational programs to address traditional burning practices with the intent of reducing wildfire risk in Costa Rica.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

May 2016

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Interdisciplinary Programs

Advisor Department

Undergraduate Studies