This course is an interdisciplinary field program conducted in the Neotropics. We will explore various tropical environments, and discover their biological wealth and the natural history of organisms that we encounter. We will examine the ecological patterns, processes, and interactions that characterize tropical systems, and will gain a better understanding of which, if any, ecological principles are unique to the tropics: What makes tropical systems unique? We will focus on the observation of tropical organisms in the wild, address threats to tropical biodiversity, and examine current conservation approaches in Costa Rica and elsewhere. Although some class topics will be presented in a formal classroom setting, participants will also be challenged during activities and field excursions throughout the country. We will visit sea turtle nesting sites, volcanoes, coastal reefs, and mangroves, and work in various tropical forests—cloud forests, seasonally dry forests. rain forests, mangroves and coastal systems—all found within Costa Rica.

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BIOL1108/L and POD

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