Up in Moorpark and then 3,000 miles away in Costa Rica, biology major Angelika Pasion spent much of the spring and summer on research projects about animal behavior. In the process, the Philippine-born, first-generation college student helped to kick off two new Cal Lutheran academic collaborations.
As a McNair Scholar looking ahead to doctoral research, Pasion made 13 trips to America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College to see two Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs. Former pets from separate homes, Bubbles and Eleanor do not get along, but they seem to enjoy their solo demonstrations for zoo visitors. Pasion watched them before and after live shows to note changes in affect and any signs of stress.
As a STEM Scholar this summer, she went to Costa Rica for four weeks to conduct environmental and behavioral research with the School for Field Studies, which saw to it that the fellowships fully paid tuition, housing, and flights for seven CLU students in science, math, and technology. Staying at a sustainable farm that grows mangos and oranges, Pasion worked on a project comparing the amplitude and frequency of bird calls in two forests. She didn’t tour San Juan, going instead to a national park, a beach, trails and a cool cloud forest.
Research subject: Bubbles
Species: Vietnamese pot-bellied pig
Age: 9 years
Weight: 105 pounds
Diet: Human-grade fruits and vegetables, elder pig pellets
Home: America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College
Neighbors: A serval and a bobcat
Tricks: Hop, circle, back up, lift a leg, wave, and pick up and pull a rope.
Other: Wags tail on walks and after shows.