23 de marzo de 2014




COURSE LOCATION: Bocas del Toro Biological Station, Boca del Drago, Isla
Colon, Republic of Panama.  The biological station is located on a hill
facing the Caribbean Sea and surrounded by lowland tropical wet forests.
Coral reef, sea grass and mangrove ecosystems lie adjacent to the station
and limestone caves, rocky intertidal shores and beaches are accessible from
the station.  The juxtaposition of the two most biologically diverse
ecosystems provides tremendous opportunities for education and research in
animal behavior.  See:, for

INSTRUCTOR: Julie E. Helson, Ph.D., Institute for Tropical Ecology and
Conservation., email:,  Specialty: conservation
ecology, ecological theory applied to current environmental problems,
community ecology, plant-insect interactions.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course is designed to provide the student with a
sound foundation in ecological concepts and field techniques as applied to
conservation ecology in a tropical setting.  The material covered is
equivalent to a university upper level course in conservation ecology.  The
course will include a discussion of general conservation biology topics and
principals, as well as taking a more focused look at conservation issues
affecting developing countries in the tropics and especially the Neotropics
(e.g., uncontrolled development, burgeoning tourism, population growth,
deforestation, pollution, and the over-utilization of marine resources).
Students in this course will also work closely with the local communities
(e.g., local schools to develop conservation education programs; and the
local indigenous Ngöbe community to analyze the effects of tourism) .  The
course is divided into five distinct categories: formal classroom lectures
(written exam); informal field lectures; readings, discussions and critiques
presented by students; group field projects; and individual research

Formal lectures.  Formal lectures will take place in the classroom and will
include the use of PowerPoint presentations and chalkboard.  Lectures will
also provide information to orientate students for both group and individual
projects.  Informal lectures will be provided periodically during
orientation walks (when you first arrive), during group field projects and
in discussion groups.  Lecture topics will include:

·     What is Conservation Biology?
·     Defining Biodiversity
·     The Conservation Biologist's Toolbox
·     Valuing Biodiversity
·     Threats to Biodiversity (Habitat destruction, Habitat fragmentation,
Overexploitation, Invasive species, Climate change, Fire)
·     Documenting and Predicting Extinctions
·     Conserving Species and Populations / Consequences of Small Populations
·     Conservation Planning, Priorities, and Management (Protected Areas)
·     Conservation Outside Protected Areas
·     Sustainable Development
·     From Conservation Theory to Practice

Readings.  Readings corresponding to lecture subjects will be assigned from
the text and from relevant articles in the primary literature.  In addition,
each student will read, critique, and provide oral reports on published
papers brought to Bocas.

Required Text
Sodhi N.S., and Ehrlich P.R. (eds.) (2010).  Conservation Biology for All.
Oxford University Press Inc., New York, U.S.A.  (Available online)

Required journal articles will be provided to students before the field

Other Important Books on Conservation Biology
Primack R.B. (2012).  A Primer of Conservation Biology (5th ed.).  Sinauer
Associates Inc., Sunderland, MA, U.S.A.

Primack R.B. (2010).  Essentials of Conservation Biology (5th ed.).  Sinauer
Associates Inc., Sunderland, MA, U.S.A.

Van Dyke F. (2008).  Conservation Biology - Foundations, Concepts,
Applications (2nd ed.).  Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands.

Group Field Projects and Exercises.  These are research or instructional
projects designed by the faculty and will be worked on by students in small
groups (3-4 individuals).  When appropriate, all data will be pooled at the
end of an assignment creating a class dataset.  The purpose of these
projects is for students to gain experience with sampling techniques and
equipment commonly used in conservation ecology fieldwork.  For each
project, students will be expected to collect data, analyze data (when
appropriate), and write a report.  Each small group of students will be
expected to present the results of one project orally to the class.  There
will be 3-6 group projects.

Individual Research Projects.  Each student will be responsible for
designing and completing an original research project, which may deal with
any topic in conservation.  In consultation with the instructor, students
will chose their research topic, drawing from experiences during groups
projects, lectures, and readings.  By the beginning of the second week,
students will be expected to submit a written proposal to the instructor for
evaluation in terms of conceptual validity, experimental design, and
feasibility (available time).  Students will analyze their data and write up
their findings in scientific journal format (using the journal Conservation
Biology as a template), as well as orally present their findings to the
class.  All reports must be completed before leaving Bocas del Toro.

BOQUETE CLOUD FOREST FIELD TRIP:  This three-day field trip takes place
midway through the course and will allow students the opportunity to
experience tropical cloud and seasonal forests.  We travel in ITEC boats to
the mainland and then by private bus to the town of Boquete which lies at
the base of 11,000 ft Volcan Baru.  The bus trip will take us up and over
the central mountain range and through remote Palo Seco National Park.
Several stops will be made in route.

COURSE LENGTH: ITEC Summer field courses are about four weeks in length.
The TCE B-14 will run from June 15 through July 10, 2014.

TUITION: $2150 USD.  Tuition fee includes all instruction, lodging, meals
and airport transfers in Bocas del Toro.  The tuition also covers
transportation and lodging during the 3-day cloud forest field trip on the

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 10, 2014.  The course is limited to 10 students
and applications will be evaluated as they arrive.  If you believe that your
application may arrive late, notify ITEC.

GRADING and COURSE CREDIT:  Up to 6 units of credit will be given, 3 for the
lecture portion and 3 for the field portion.  A letter grade will be
assigned based on exams, reports, proposals, attendance at lectures, as well
as by less tangibles such as personal attitude, motivation, and contribution
to the course.  Course credit must be arranged at the student's institution.
Contact ITEC for details.

APPLICATIONS can be found at:

CONTACT:  Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation,  2911 NW 40th PL,
Gainesville, FL 32605, phone: 352-367-9128, email:, web:   ITEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
founded in 1996.

Peter N. Lahanas, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Institute for Tropical Ecology
and Conservation (ITEC)
2911 NW 40th Place
Gainesville, FL 32605, USA

phn: 352-367-9128

In Panama: 011-507-6853-2134

Bocas del Toro Biological Station
Boca del Drago, Isla Colon, Panama
Field Station Manager, Enrique Dixon

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