Please post this course announcement

Shaun M. Bennett sbennett at ACPUB.DUKE.EDU
Tue Jan 30 13:48:38 CST 1996



                        **********TROPICAL BIODIVERSITY***************

Dr. David Hicks, Manchester College
Devon Graham, University of Miami

August 1 - 21, 1996 (Arrive by July 31, Depart earliest August 22)

To study the diversity of plants, animals and biotic interactions found in
three types of tropical forests:  lowland rainforest, seasonally dry forest
and mid-elevation forest.  Participants will learn about these tropical
environments and their conservation via orientation walks, faculty-led field
research projects, discussions and lectures.

Tropical Diversity will be conducted in Costa Rica at the OTS field stations
in classic lowland rainforest (La Selva), seasonally dry forest (Palo
Verde), and at a mid-elevation site (Las Cruces).  After one day of
orientation and introductory lectures in San Jose, the class will operate
entirely in the field where the schedule will include:

*       A detailed introduction on the day of arrival, including orientation walks
conducted by scientists who are experts in this ecosystem, usually because
it is the site of their research.  Participants will learn about the plants
and animals that characterize each ecosystem and the major ecological forces
which shape them by firsthand observation with the guidance of the faculty
and local experts.

*       Several days of field problems follow orientation and provide students
with the experience of conducting scientific research.  Field problems are
designed by scientists to illustrate important ecological questions and
areas of active research in a short period of time.  They require close
collaboration by students working in research teams.

*       Writing and independent exploration follow the orientation and field
problems.  Field problem write-ups provide experience in the analysis,
interpretation and presentation of the data and research results which are
key aspects of graduate education in the biological sciences and essential
elements for understanding science in the tropics and elsewhere.  The full
set of field problem write-ups will be available to students in book form
following the conclusion of the course.  Independent exploration allows
participants to follow up on their individual interests, though there is not
sufficient time for students to complete independent research projects.

*       Lectures and discussions are held on most evenings.  Core and visiting
faculty as well as researchers who are encountered in the field provide a
steady stream of in-depth presentations on current research topics.
Participants are also expected to present oral reports on field projects, do
write-ups, and edit each other's.

*       Evaluation:  grades are based on participation in course activities and
the quality of oral and written reports.  All participants receive grades
and transcripts granted by the University of Costa Rica.  Successful
completion of the course carries three graduate semester hours of credit.

Limited to 22.  Participants are selected on the basis of background and
goals related to the objectives of the course.  This course typically
enrolls students from a variety of backgrounds ranging from advanced
undergraduates (juniors or seniors) to established biology faculty seeking
an introduction to tropical biology.  Important factors in selection are
motivation and seriousness of purpose, as well as the capacity to work
collaboratively in a group under field conditions which often lack many
familiar comforts, including privacy, escape from biting insects, shelter
from weather, etc.  At least 25% of the spaces in the course will be
available to students from institutions that are not members of OTS.

Application Deadline: April 15, 1996 (or until all places are filled)
Announcement of Selections: May 15, 1996

Apply to and request application materials from:
Organization for Tropical Studies
Box 90630
Durham, NC 27708-0630
Tel.:   (919) 684-5774
Fax:    (919) 684-5661
E-mail:  nao at

(1) Application fee:    $25
(2) Course fee: $1,500 *OTS member students
        $2,450, Non OTS member students
(3) Personal expenses and international travel are the responsibility of the

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