F&ES 717b / 2015-2016

Tropical Field Ecology

Credits: 3

Spring 2016: M, 2:30-3:50, Kroon 321
 
Spring OCI Listing    

 
This course is designed to give students first-hand knowledge of tropical biology and the issues surrounding conservation of biodiversity in a developing nation through a combination of in-class discussions and a mandatory field trip over Spring Break. The emphasis is 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 dynamics, reforestation, species interactions and coevolution, climate change impacts, ecosystem services and human land use. Students will also gain experience with study design, data collection methods and statistical analysis. This year’s field trip will be to Panama, a country famous for its high biological, cultural and economic diversity. 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. It does so in the context of an intensive foreign study tour in . 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. Priority will be given to students that have taken the fall semester course ‘Ecology and Conservation of Tropical Forests
Limited to 15
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