Biology 437

Tropical Field Ecology

My objectives for this course center around two main goals. 1) To provide experience carrying out the process of ecological investigation and 2) To introduce some important aspects of the ecology of tropical ecosystems with some consideration of the interactions of people and nature. The first goal is central to how I have conceived the course - as an opportunity to do ecological field research from start to finish: reading what others have done; conceiving ideas about what you would like to do and constructing proposals; facing the real world in the field and having to make decisions about what might really be possible to do; and working in groups to gather data, analyze, write up and present the results to the broader community. The tropics are a special place to become inspired about studying ecology. The ecology of tropical systems is intimately affected by the human populations that live in and near them. This has been true for thousands of years, but the human effects are becoming increasingly apparent as populations grow and people strive for a higher "standard of living". Any consideration of the ecology of tropical regions must therefore consider the interaction between humans and the natural world.


Costa Rica Field Trip

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