F&ES 717b / 2019-2020

Tropical Field Ecology

Credits: 3

Spring 2020: Time and location TBA
 

 
This course is designed to give students firsthand knowledge of tropical biology and the issues surrounding conservation of biodiversityin a developing nation, through a combination of seminar-style discussions and a mandatory12 day field trip over winter break. The emphasisis on active learning and developing independent research projects carried out during the field trip. Using a case-study approach,topics covered include patterns of biodiversity, tropical forest dynamics, reforestation, species interactions and coevolution, climatechange impacts, ecosystem services, and human land use. Students also gain experience with study design, data collection methods, andstatistical analysis. This year’s field trip is to Panama, a country famous for its high biological, cultural, and economic diversity. We visita variety of forest ecosystems and hear from local and international scientists about current research in the field. Students undertake twoshort research projects and also learn basic identification and natural history of tropical plant, bird, and insect species. Students shouldexpect to spend a major part of each day outside in the natural tropical environment under adverse conditions. Enrollment limited tofifteen, with a course application due early in the Fall semester. F&ES 752is a required prerequisite and priority will be given to students planning to conduct field research in the tropics.
Limited to 15