F&ES 717b / 2014-2015

Tropical Field Ecology (Field trip course)

Credits: 3

Spring 2015: M, 2:30-3:50, Krn 319
Spring OCI Listing    

Please find below a course description for Introduction to Tropical Field Ecology for the Spring 2015 semester.  Because the course involves a mandatory field trip to Panama over spring break, there will be an enrollment cap of 15 students. In addition, because the appropriate government permits must be secured for the course well in advance (which requires the names of all course participants), enrollment must be finalized by the end of December. 
If you are interested in taking the course, please read the description below and then email Dr. Liza Comita (liza.comita@yale.edu) with the following information by 5PM, DECEMBER 8th, 2014:
1.         Name
2.         Degree program and expected graduation date
3.         List of previous relevant coursework
4.         A brief explanation of why you want to take the course and how it would further your academic and career goals (200 words max).
Note that the course expenses will be largely covered by F&ES, but students will be asked to contribute $500 towards the cost of their plane tickets.  Nonetheless, all students are eligible to participate, regardless of financial means.
Introduction to Tropical Field Ecology (3 credits)
Instructors:  Dr. Liza Comita & Dr. Simon Queenborough
Spring 2015: Mondays 2:00 -3:50pm, with mandatory field trip to Panama over Spring Break (tentative field trip dates: March 11-22)
This course provides a broad overview of the ecology, conservation and management of tropical forests, with an emphasis on active learning and developing independent research projects carried out during the field trip. Using a case study approach, topics covered will include patterns of biodiversity, tropical forest structure and function, reforestation, species interactions and coevolution, nutrient cycling, climate change, ecosystem services and human land use. We will visit a variety of forest ecosystems and hear first-hand from scientists about current research in the field. Students will undertake two short-term research projects, and also learn basic identification and natural history of tropical plant, bird, and insect species. The course will include weekly seminars on-campus and a mandatory field trip during Spring Break.
The course is designed to give students first-hand knowledge of tropical biology and the issues surrounding conservation of biodiversity in a developing nation. It does so in the context of an intensive foreign study tour in Panama, a country famous for its high biological, cultural and economic diversity. The field trip includes travel to several distinct tropical forest habitats, guided natural history exploration, independent field research projects and oral presentation of results, and discussions with local experts on ecosystem services and conservation in the tropics. As this is a course in field ecology, students should expect to spend a major part of each day outside in the natural tropical environment under adverse conditions

Limited to 15 Application process
Online Course Information: