BIOL 313 Field Studies in Tropical Marine Biology and Forest Ecology


The primary goal of this course is to allow students to develop an appreciation for and understanding of the structure, diversity and importance of tropical systems in the context of a rapidly changing climate. The focus will include nearshore tropical marine environments and tropical forests. Exposure to these systems will take place in an intensive set of field experiences in terrestrial and marine systems. Students will gain hands-on experience using standard equipment and methods to collect and analyze data in these environments. They will read, discuss, and critically analyze important peer-reviewed journal articles related to these habitats. They will develop a working knowledge of the major organisms and key environmental factors in these systems that will prepare them for future study. The focus will be on Belizean and Caribbean systems, but the concepts learned will be applicable throughout much of the tropics. A secondary goal of the course is to provide students with an immersive exposure to some of the current culture and the human history of the Yucatan Peninsula. This exposure will take place on small islands and in the countryside of central Belize and Guatemala. When combined with BIOL 260, the two courses together satisfy a requirement for one upper-level course with laboratory.

Prerequisites:  BIOL 130/131/140/141 or CHEM 120/125/BIOL140/141