Spring 2019

Seminar in Tropical Biology

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-454

Faculty

Ethan D. Clotfelter (Section 01)
Rachel A. Levin (Section 01)

Description

Most biodiversity on our planet can be found in tropical latitudes. Tropical rainforests, for example, which account for less than 10% of the Earth’s surface, may contain 50-75% of all plant and animal species. In this course we will examine some of the myriad biotic interactions that occur in the tropics using an ecological, evolutionary, and behavioral approach. The course is divided into two main components: a two-week interterm field course and an advanced seminar. During the field course students will be immersed in the tropical forests of Costa Rica, with a focus on organismal identification and comparisons between three sites (lowland Caribbean rainforest, cloud forest, and coastal dry forest). While in Costa Rica, we will utilize the expertise of local specialists to learn more about taxonomic groups that are particularly significant in the tropics, such as bats, frogs, and epiphytic plants. Back on campus, students will analyze tree diversity data collected in the field, as well as focus on a specific topic within tropical biology, around which students will design experimental research that will be presented in an NSF-style grant proposal. Three hours per week.

Requisite: BIOL-181. Recommended: one or more of the following courses: BIOL-230/ENST-210, BIOL-201, BIOL-280/281, BIOL-320/321. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 12 students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Spring semester. Professor Clotfelter and Senior Lecturer Levin.

If Overenrolled: Enrollment is via application only. Priority will be given to those students with the recommended coursework and those who could benefit most from the opportunity to study field biology abroad.

Keywords

Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing

Offerings

2018-19: Offered in Spring 2019
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017