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Tropical Ecology and Geology of Costa Rica

Tropical Ecology and Geology of Costa Rica

Professors: Dr. Susan Willson, Biology; Dr. David Kratzmann, Geology

BIO/ GEO 248: 1 unit of credit, BIO/ GEO

Course dates: Saturday 8 June - Fri 21 June 2013 (14 days inclusive)

Biological content will focus on adaptions of organisms to the diverse ecosystems of Costa Rica, and examine the ecological and evolutionary reasons for Costa Rica's high biodiversity.  We will explore habitats ranging from lowland rainforest, through foothill and higher elevation cloud forest, as well as high elevation oak forest and the paramo, found above treeline.  How do animals and plants survive and flourish in these habitats?  Using walking lectures, workshops, guest researchers, and hands-on investigation of plant life, insects, and birds as model organisms, students will gain a deep understanding of the ecology of this tropical region, as well as its biodiversity.  In particular, students should expect to learn common names of over 40 species of birds, and will become familiar with taxonomic nomenclature at the family level for both birds and tropical trees.  Workshops on plant identification, flowers and fruit; morning bird walks, and mist-netting (catching birds) will help to make sense of the amazing biodiversity in this beautiful tropical country.

Students will be posting comments, observations and notes over the duration of the course at this location

http://blogs.stlawu.edu/costarica/http://blogs.stlawu.edu/costarica/