Two Iowa State University Researchers hope to learn ways to better manage trees in Iowa by studying trees in Costa Rica. Professor Ann Russell says one of the goals is to find ways to use trees to get rid of some of the carbon dioxide that’s released into the air — causing global warming. She says it’s also important to find out how nutrients are released into the soil that allow plants to grow by making the soil fertile. Russell the tropical climate of Costa Rica provides a good lab for the study. She says trees grow faster, so they get the answers to their study much quicker. Plus, she says they’re also interested in tropical deforestation and how to restore degraded landscapes. While the times where Iowa seems tropical are limited weeks or days, Russell says the work in Costa Rica can be used for projects here. She says since they are researching the process, it doesn’t matter what the species are or the location. She says they’re looking at the fundamental process and that information can be translated to other locations. Russell leaves for Costa Rica today and will work with James Raich in the three-year study.