An Introduction to the Tropical Ecosystems of Costa Rica

Thomas and Doris Wilson in the Giant Arum Valley of Costa Rica
Thomas and Doris Wilson recently visited Costa Rica to initiate a Study Abroad Program for Judson College students.
Tropical Ecosystems of Costa Rica is a new study abroad course being recommended for Judson College, Marion, Alabama (2006). This international field trip will allow students to learn about one of the most interesting regions of the tropics. We will investigate the ecology and cultures of Costa Rica including origins and changes.
Costa Rica map
BIO 315 Tropical Ecosystems of Costa Rica (2 credit hour lecture course syllabus)
BIO 316 Tropical Ecosystems of Costa Rica (2 credit hour study abroad course)
Course Itinerary - 2007
The Tico Times... online English newspaper of Costa Rica
The Great Potoo (male)
The Great Potoo...this male bird hatched from an egg laid on this exact limb. This limb is now his "place." This particular bird has stationed on this limb for the last five years.

(image taken with a digital camera held against the eyepiece of a spotting scope)
Lost Iguana villa (our home)  with Arenal Volcano
Birding at Arenal Volcano
Base of Arenal Vollcano
There are 600 active volcanos in Costa Rica. Arenal Volcano is the most active. We watched the volcano from the villa at night as it spewed molten boulders into the air. We could hear the boulders rolling down the side of the volcano. It was an awesome display of the power and danger of nature.
Thomas and Ray Wilson at Hanging Bridge, Arenal
Bromilids and orchids
Wilson in arum valley
Giant fig tree
Valley steam
Polymorphic plant form at La Selva
Doris Wilson birding
Bromilid in flower
Wilsons spotting the Great Potoo
Rio Frieo
leaf cutter ants at La Selva
Cacao flowers on trunk of tree
Cacao fruit
Therese White of CATIE with cacao fruit
The cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, "food of the gods" is the source of chocolate. The flowers of this tree are cauliforous...they grow directly from the main trunk. The Cacao Thrips, Selenothrips rubrocinctus, is one of the insects that I studied for my Ph.D. research at the University of Illinois. These tiny plant suckers can kill the tree.
Now go to Costa Rica 2 for more images  
For more information, contact:
Dr. Thomas Wilson