This course will provide an interdisciplinary field immersion into two of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth: coral reefs and tropical rainforests.
Before leaving for Central America, participants will have several evening sessions to learn about specific groups of organisms and ecosystems that they are likely to encounter during their travels. Students will live in remote field stations in Belize, examining the natural history of these two systems while exploring how they have changed over time as a result of human interactions. At each site there will be initial orientation tours to become familiar with the plants and animals and students will engage in daily field activities, as well as morning and evening lectures to introduce new and review concepts highlighted during the day. At the Bladen site (inland rainforest), students will explore a diversity of terrestrial habitats including wet, montane and coniferous forests, tropical savanna, and aquatic systems including small streams and rivers. Participants will investigate flora and fauna (avian, invertebrate, fish, reptile, amphibian and mammals) as well as study some of the many biotic interactions unique to the tropics. Students will interact with local Maya guides and learn about Maya history and contemporary culture, especially as it relates to natural history and the environment (i.e. ethnobotany and small-scale agriculture).
This trip has been moved from December to May.
Travel Dates will be May 11-25, 2012.
• Snorkeling off South Beach and Mangrove Island
• Kayaking to Carrie Bow Caye to visit Smithsonian Research Station
• Night hikes in Cockscomb Basin, Holy Rock, and other areas
• Glover's Reef Day Trip
Winona State University
PO Box 5838
Winona, Minnesota 55987