Winter field courses in tropical ecology (Panama) ~

7 de noviembre de 2015

Winter field courses in tropical ecology (Panama)

COURSES OFFERED OVER WINTER BREAK (December 20, 2015-January 9, 2016)
CORAL REEF ECOLOGY, Elizabeth Lacey, Ph.D., Stockton College,

PRIMATE ECOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR, Alain Houle, Ph.D., Harvard University,



TROPICAL AVIAN ECOLOGY, Scott Walter, Ph.D., Tulane University,  
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.  Coral reef and seagrass ecosystems are out in front of the station and lowland tropical rain forests lie directly behind.  This juxtaposition of the two most biologically diverse ecosystems provides tremendous opportunities for education and research.  See for details.

COURSE DESCRIPTION.  The ITEC course model is built around experiential learning in three basic areas, field data collection methods and analysis, independent research, and cultural experience.  The availability of tropical marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems adjacent to the field station provides unparalleled opportunities for education and research.  Each course begins with an orientation period designed to familiarize the student with forest trails systems, coral reef locations and ecosystems available for study at the field station.  This is followed by a week of intensive instruction concerning the field methods and techniques employed for data collection specific to the course subject.  Up to six hours of field instruction will be provided each day and will be in the form informal lectures, group projects, demonstrations and exercises.  Formal lectures will take place in the classroom during the day or at night along with various assigned readings, discussions or critiques.  With knowledge gained with these experiences and under the guidance of faculty, students will design and write an independent research proposal on a topic of their choosing.  At mid-course the entire field station community will embark on a three-day field trip to the Boquete highlands where students will have the opportunity to experience high elevation montane (cloud) forest and low elevation seasonal (dry) forest on the same day.  This trip also provides a cultural experience as we travel widely across western Panama, stopping at various locations in route.  On return to the field station students will have five to seven days to carry out their independent research project. Towards the end of the course students will analyze their data, write a technical report and present their findings during a station-wide symposium.  Please contact the instructor or ITEC for detailed information.
BOQUETE CLOUD FOREST FIELD TRIP:  This field trip will allow students the opportunity to visit other areas of Panama, to experience Panamanian culture, and to visit tropical cloud and seasonal forests first hand.  We travel in ITEC boats to the mainland and then by chartered bus to 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 Palo Seco National Park.  Several stops will be made in route.
COURSE LENGTH: ITEC Winter field courses are about three weeks in length.  Courses will run from December 20, 2015 through January 9, 2016.
TUITION: $1950 USD.  Tuition fee includes all 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 mainland.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: November 20, 2015.  The course is limited to 10 students and applications will be evaluated as they arrive.  Applications can be found at   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 through the student’s institution.  Contact ITEC for details.

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

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