Biology 195 Tropical Biology
University of Scranton
Department of Biology
COURSE: Biology 195 Tropical Biology. Intersession 1999.
LOCATION: University of Scranton-Jan 4-11, 27-30, 1999
Belize-Jan 12-26, 1999
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. John R. Conway
Associate Professor of Biology
Office-104 Loyola Hall of Science
Guide to Corals & Fishes of Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean
(Waterproof) by Idaz & Jerry Greenberg. 1986. Seahawk Press. Miami.
A Field Guide to Coral Reefs by Eugene H. Kaplan. 1982. The Peterson
Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston.
A Neotropical Companion by John C. Kricher. 1997. Princeton University Press. Princeton.
Selected readings from Scientific American reprints and other sources.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A general course open to biology and other majors to fulfill the General Education Natural Science requirement. The course can also be taken by Biology majors to fulfill the Population and Organismal areas. The course is designed to broaden a student's educational perspective by exposure to new biological and cultural environments. Students will experience first-hand the two most diverse biological ecosystems: the coral reef and the tropical rain forest. They will study and identify common invertebrates and fish by snorkeling over coral reefs and turtle grass beds and exploring tide pools, sandy beaches, and mangrove islands. Students will also learn about the flora and fauna of the rain forest and the Mayan civilization.
1.Students will identify common invertebrates and become familiar with the biology and ecology of marine invertebrate phyla
2.Students will identify common reef fish and learn the characteristics of their families
3.Students will learn about the location, formation, ecology and evolution of coral reefs and rain forests
4.Students will discuss factors contributing to the worldwide destruction of coral reefs and tropical rain forests
5.Students will discuss the importance of preserving coral reefs and rain forests
6.Students will study mangroves, turtle grass, tide pools and other tropical marine environments and identify indicator organisms
7.Students will identify animals and plants encountered in primary and secondary rain forests in Belize
8.Students will study the biology of tropical ants such as leafcutter and army ants and ant-plant associations, such as Aztec ants and cecropia and ants associated with bull's-horn acacia
9.Students will record the common and scientific names of organisms they encounter or collect, and keep field notes on their habitat, behavior, interactions, etc.
10.Students will use the library to conduct in-depth literature searches on two organisms (one marine and one rain forest)
11.Students will learn about the ancient Mayan civilization and its impact on the environment
12.Students will observe life in developing countries
13.Students will keep a daily journal to record information on people and places in Belize
COURSE PREREQUISITES: Swimming proficiency and a sense of adventure
1.Regular attendance and participation. You will be evaluated on your academic work, cooperation, promptness, initiative, enthusiasm, and how well you represent the University and the United States
2.Notebook with the following sections:
A.Field notes. List all organisms observed and identifiedeach day. Wherever possible give both common and scientific names (genus and species) and include information on time, date, behavior, habitat, and intraspecific and interspecific interactions. This section should show evidence of careful and accurate observations in the field. When making observations think of the following: When, Where, and What.
B.In-depth research reports reviewing the literature on two organisms or habitats observed-one marine and one terrestrial.
C.Daily journal which includes your impressions of people, places, food, customs, prices, etc. You can include photographs, brochures, postcards and maps. The purpose of this section is to encourage careful observation and allow you to relive the trip later.
Your journal will be graded on its content, organization, neatness, completeness, accuracy, and originality.
Notebook 150 pts (Section A-50 pts, B-50 pts,
Two oral reports 50 pts
Participation 50 pts
Four tests (50 pts each) 200 pts
Total 450 pts