Tropical Biology- Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands
The 2020 International Studies Program to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is proposed for the dates of July 9th to August 8th, 2020. This program will provide approximately 10 undergraduate students and 5 graduate students a unique opportunity to study tropical biology and biodiversity in one of the best available examples of tropical forest in South America and see the unique fauna and flora of the Galapagos Islands.
The program is open to 10 undergraduate and 5 graduate ASU students in good standing who are in academic programs for which the classes offered are appropriate. Student participants normally will be full-time undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a major or minor in biology. The selection of students to participate in the program will be the responsibility of the faculty directors and will be based on a number of criteria, including: the student’s classification, academic program, GPA, and ability to relate cooperatively with all group members. Students majoring in biology or biochemistry will have priority in admission to the program. Students must satisfy the faculty directors that they are committed to the educational objectives of the program in order to be selected.
Biology 4381 Field Methods in Mammalogy :This course will introduce students to the methodology of mammal population sampling, the preparation of scientific specimens of mammals for museums, and the collection of data associated with that process. Fieldwork will involve active collecting of specimens and data at multiple sites in Ecuador, as well as a visit to a mammal research collection in Quito. Students will be presented with lectures describing methods for collecting mammals, specimen preservation, and data collection for museum research. An important aspect of this course will be visiting remote sites and conducting brief biological inventories of mammals at those areas.
Biology 6381 Field Research Methods in Mammalogy: This course will address techniques for studying diversity of mammals in tropical habitats. Emphasis will be on field methods, specimen preparation, data collection, georeferencing locations, and effective sampling for disease investigations. In addition to lectures on these topics, field studies at sites in Ecuador also will be conducted.
Biology 4381 Introduction to Tropical Biology: Students will learn the physical characteristics of the tropics and the biological uniqueness and complexity of tropical ecosystems. Differences between temperate and tropical environments will be distinguished. Characteristic flora and fauna of tropical communities will be studied.
Biology 6381 Tropical Ecology: Students will study and observe the characteristics of tropical ecosystems and variations within. Each student will review contemporary issues in the study of tropical organisms and give a
Students will be extensively briefed prior to departure regarding travel arrangements and schedules with addresses and telephone numbers given each participant. All travel arrangements will be made by the program directors and approved by the University. All program participants must have adequate health and accident insurance coverage in case of medical care or emergencies. Participants will be required to enroll in a standard group policy approved by the university.
The program schedule for this 2020 international program in Ecuador will be available as soon as details are formalized. The schedule is subject to revision as additional details of the travel schedules and excursions are developed in consultation with guides in Ecuador, and with the Center for International Studies.
Students selected to participate in the program will be required to make an initial deposit of $500 to the CIS upon notification of selection, at the latest by December 1st, 2019. Once a student pays the initial deposit s/he also has committed to the program. Should the student have to withdraw from the program s/he will have to reimburse the university for expenditures made on the student’s behalf. Notification of the deadlines and amounts for additional deposits will be provided after the course roll has been finalized.
The program will be co-directed by Dr. Michael T. Dixon, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Biology and Dr. Robert C. Dowler, Professor of Biology. Both co-directors have experience in the fields to be taught in this program as well as international field research experience. Both Dixon and Dowler previously have taught study abroad courses in Costa Rica including successful programs in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. Dr. Dowler has visited Ecuador and conducted research in the Galapagos Islands on eight trips.