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Extended Study to Costa Rica

Tropical Ecology – Biology 332 & 332E

On-campus course followed by a three-week trip to Costa Rica.

Director: Professor Catherine Cardelύs, Department of Biology
On-campus course: Spring 2013
Tentative travel dates: May 20 - June 11, 2013
Course credit: One credit for on-campus course
Extended study credit: One-half (.5) credit for extended study component
Information session: Wednesday, October 10, 5-6 p.m., 301 Olin


BIO 211; student admission depends on application and interview
Application deadline: November 9, 2012

In this course, we will learn about tropical ecology from the discoveries and theories of the early explorers like Humboldt to the modern theories of species biogeography. We will also learn about the human impacts on tropical diversity and the sustainability of tropical ecosystems. We will use seminal papers as our reading and discuss questions that are still debated by tropical ecologists, namely: Why are the tropics so diverse? How is this diversity maintained, how do communities respond to disturbance? and, How will global warming affect communities and species richness?

In the extended study component to Costa Rica, we will see firsthand what was studied during the spring semester of Tropical Ecology. The group will stay at four established field sites where we will conduct field work: lowland rainforest (La Selva Biological Station), upper montant oak forest (Cuerici, with a stop at a Paramo-bog), deciduous dry forest (Palo Verde and Mangrove Swamp), and, finally, premontane cloud forest (Monteverde). At each site, we will have guided tours to orient ourselves followed by field work, data analysis, and presentation of results. At each site, students will work in groups to execute projects that focus on some aspect of tropical ecology that they discovered during the lecture portion of the course.
Estimated student expenses