In addition to our traditional courses, we offer travel courses: Tropical Biology (Biology 195) and Philippine Tropical Organisms and Ecosystems (Biology 295). Both courses are limited enrollment and run during Intersessions (January) only. The laboratory portion of Estuarine Ecology (Biology 473L) runs in the Spring semester of even years and involves a week-long trip to the marshes of Georgia and Louisiana
The Tropical Biology course is run on odd years and is open to Biology majors and non-majors. This course, taught by Dr. John Conway, focuses on tropical ecosystems in Central or South America. For Biology majors, this course counts towards the Organisms or Populations area requirements. For non-majors, this counts as a natural science elective.
This course involves a 10-14 day trip to Central America to countries such as Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama. Central Amercian rainforests are remarkably well-preserved and thus offer excellent opportunities to observe wildlife in rainforests and cloud forests. Reefs in Panama are easily accessible.
Trekking along the old lava flows at Arenal, Costa Rica
Read Katie Tempaugh's article on this course
Philippines Tropical Organisms and Ecosystems course runs on even years and is open to Biology and related majors (Biochemistry, Biomathematics, Biophysics, Neuroscience, other majors only by instructor approval). This course, taught by Dr. George Gomez, focuses on Philippine ecosystems and biota as representatives of tropical biology. For Biology majors, this course counts towards the Organisms or Populations area requirements. For all majors, this counts towards the Cultural Diversity requirement.
While the plane flight to the Philippines is long, it is worth it! The Philippines is famous for having among the most biodiverse reefs and oceans in the world. In addition, different ecosystems are in close proximity to one another, allowing easy access to different tropical regions. In addition, the course includes interaction with local tribespeople.
Fechnel Michel learns the traditional Aeta fishing dance in Pamulaklakin, Zambales.
|Jennifer Sidari with Tatay Kasuy, an Aeta tribal elder who took the students into the forest and showed students how the Aeta live off the land.|
Spelunking in Mabinay Caves (above); Mark Romanowski snorkels in Apo Island (right), Negros Oriental
|Michelle Kuznicki meets a school of jacks, Dimakya Island, Palawan||A view from inside the crater lake at Mount Pinatubo|
The Estuarine Ecology course focuses on marine and estuarine systems, including soil chemistry, halophyte physiology, tidal marsh ontogeny, ecosystem function and the consequences of human alteration of the coastal zone. The optional laboratory portino of the course includes a weeklong field trip during Spring Break to Sapelo Island, Georgia, and Cocodrie, Louisiana. While on the trip, students "get their feet wet" by going into the marshes and mangroves, collecting soil samples, taking measurements of parameters such as carbon dioxide and dissolved oxygen, or dredging estuarine substrates to quantify animal diversity. Through first-hand experience, students learn techniques employed by professionals in the field as they study the concepts and principles that govern the existence of these crucial and fragile environments. The course is taught by Dr. Michael Hardisky.
This course is designed to expose the student to the stunning and diverse environments of Arizona in the course of investigating human physiological adaptation to extreme environmental and aerobic challenges. Utilizing the student as both subject and investigator, challenges will include exposure to the desert environment, prolonged bouts of exercise (e.g., cycling, hiking, running, skiing, swimming), and extreme changes in altitude.
The student will document his/her progression of cardiovascular and respiratory conditioning throughout the 3 1/2 weeks. Accompanying instruction will explore environmental challenges, adaptive mechanisms of native flora and fauna, and compensatory mechanisms operating in key human physiological systems.
The course will be taught by Dr. Terry Sweeney.