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Story in the College of Arts & Sciences

Trefethen photo

Hailey Trefethen '08

Anthropology major
At a glance:

Anthropology major's trip to Costa Rica exposes her to the realm of field research with primates.

Hailey Trefethen, an anthropology major, was pleased to discover in Costa Rica how much she enjoyed conducting field research. 

"I'd actually been a little hesitant to go," she says. "But once I was there, doing my own research, being independent, following through the whole way on the project—it was so fun. I guess I'd never thought I could actually do all that before."

Trefethen studied near the town of Cariavai in Costa Rica on a summer research program with Associate Anthropology Professor Michelle Bezanson, whose expertise is in primate locomotion. The group stayed in bunkhouses at a site banked by two forests, one old growth and one secondary growth.

All of the students conducted some kind of research: Trefethen studied the play behavior of capuchin monkeys, one of three primate species common in the area.

"I'd get up at 5 a.m. and get out into the jungle at daybreak. It was so fun to get to know a forest so well," Trefethen says. "At first I was worried I'd get lost. By the end, I was running through the place."

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Watch a video about SCU research in Costa Rica below.

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