Tropical Ecosystems of Costa Rica
hour study abroad course)
|Date of Field Trip:
Tuesday, April 17, 2007 - return on Tuesday, May 1, 2007 (15 days).
Spring semester final exams will be taken early by participants.
BIO 316 is a May Block Short Term course.
Tuition for this course is free for May Block Short Term dormitory students.
BIO 316 2 cr hrs will not count as an overload during Short Term.
One laboratory course in biology, or permission
Recommendation: BIO 315 Tropical Ecosystems of Costa
Rica is designed to teach and prepare students about the natural history of
Costa Rica with emphasis on identification of birds. This course is highly
recommended but is not a requirement for BIO 316.
Maximum number of student participants is 14.
Priority is given to:
Senior biology majors
Stiles, F. Gary and
A.F. Skutch. 1989. A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Comstock Pub. Asso.
Ithaca, New York.
|Recommended Reading before the trip to
Costa Rica: Krichen, John. 1997. A Neotropical Companion. Princeton Univ.
Press. New Jersey.
|Purpose of field study:
experience and learn about tropical ecosystems in Costa Rica. We will tour and
study in several life zones. Emphasis is given to bird identification and
behavior. We will observe the impact of agriculture and commercial forestry on
the natural habitats of the country. We will experience the conservation and
preservation efforts of Costa Rica. We will learn the role of ecotourism and
eco-education in the effort to "save the forests."
Dr. and Mrs. Wilson spent two weeks in Costa Rica in the Spring of 2005. This
was a working trip to establish and plan for the Judson College trip in late
April, 2006. A well-respected Nature Tour Company will be selected to organize
and conduct our study. Dr. Wilson presented an itinerary to several companies,
and he will select the best package for the trip.
educated natural history guides are employed by these ecotourism companies.
These guides complete a long, rigorous educational certificate program before
being employed. Nature guide is a profession in Costa Rica. These people "know
Latin names for plants, identification of most of the 857
species of birds.
Many of the 12 life zones
(Holdridge) will be visited. We will travel by vans, stay in modest but
comfortable lodges, and will be accompanied by professional nature guides.
Costa Rica is about half the size of Kentucky. It is a compact land of
mountains (600 volcanoes), valleys, and has great biodiversity which makes
Costa Rica an excellent place to conduct a field trip and to study natural
With 857 species of birds, Costa Rica is probably the "hot
spot" of birding for the planet. Ecotourism is a growing and respected industry
in Costa Rica. The people of Costa Rica are polite, friendly, and most speak
English. Costa Rica is simply a wonderful place to visit and to experience the
beauty and wonder of nature. The fruit is wonderful
mangos and pineapples.
|Stressful components of the
The lowlands will be hot and humid (2 days). It will rain,
and we will slosh through mud. You will have some "bad hair" days. On many days
we go from early morning till late evening. We will walk several miles each
There are mosquitoes, stinging insects, and snakes. Mosquito borne
diseases such as dingue fever and malaria are a concern. You will need to wear
insect repellant with DEET. You should drink only bottled water. You should
avoid all uncooked vegetables (salads, etc.). Volcanoes are dangerous.
|Costa Rica Trip Itinerary - 2006
|Contacts in Costa Rica:
tour company will be in constant phone and radio contact with the drivers and
guides at all times. (Will be provided later.)
is managed by Educator. Go to the menu and learn about Assignments, External
Links, Health Advisory, Required Documents, and What to Pack.
Required documents are found in Educator
under Course Materials
will keep a Field Journal. Instructions for the Field Journal are in
Computation of Grade (all points count the same)
Field Journal - 100 points
The students will work together after the trip
and construct a PowerPoint presentation for the College. Instructions for this
presentation are in Assignments - 25 points.
|Cost of Field Trip to Costa Rica (estimate
as of 25 Oct., 2005):
Final payment will vary according to actual
cost of airfare and according to total number of participants. This estimated
cost is based on a minimum of 8 participants. The cost may be somewhat less if
there are more partaicipants.
Study Tour includes international airfare ($750),
lodging, all fees, transportation in Costa Rica, guides, 16 meals (see
itinerary) = $2,404.00. Not included:30 meals @ approximately
$6/meal + tips = $225.00; non-itinerary activities, personal spending
money, laundry money.
5 December 2005
$1,200.00 by 5 Feb. 2006