Check out our course schedule

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New classes and location!

The Maya World: Art Archaeology & Literature in Guatemala!

June 17 - 28 (Summer session 1)

Professor Michael Ennis


Spanish and Cooking at La Suerte

July 19 - 28 (Summer session 2)

Professor Denisee Aguilar


Apply Online or contact info@maderasrfc.org for more information.


La Suerte Course Schedule

Course Name

Session

Professor(s)

Dates (fly 'to' & 'from' San Jose)

Price does not include $150 application fee

Primate Behavior & Ecology

1

Dr. Amy Schreier & Dr. Nancy Barrickman

May 24 - June 19, 2017

$1945

Vet Field Training Mission

1

Dr. David Love

May 24 - June 3, 2017

$1750

Rain Forest Ecology

1

Dr. Brandt LaRoy

May 15 - June 5

$1945

Photography

1

Dr. Brandt LaRoy

May 15 - June 5

$1945

Primate Behavior & Ecology

2

Dr. Laura Bolt

June 21 - July 17, 2017

$1945

Advanced Primate Behavior & Ecology

2

Dr. Laura Bolt

June 21 - July 17, 2017

$1945

Spanish & Cooking

2

Denisee Aguilar

July 19 - 28, 2017

$800

Primate Behavior & Ecology

3

Dr. Laura Bolt

July 19 - Aug. 14, 2017

$1945

Advanced Primate Behavior & Ecology

3

Dr. Laura Bolt

July 19 - Aug. 14, 2017

$1945

Primate Behavior & Ecology

Winter

Dr. Laura Bolt

Dec. 27 2017 - Jan. 7, 2018

$1945

Ometepe Course Schedule

Course Name

Session

Professor(s)

Dates (fly 'to' & 'from' Managua)

Price does not include $150 application fee

Bat Ecology

1

Dr. T Risch & Dr. Jessica Allen

May 15 - May 29, 2017

$1745

Vet Field Training Mission

Winter

Dr. Liz Lamperelli

Dec. 26, 2016 - Jan. 4, 2017

$1750

information on Maya Guatemala class of flying in June 17 - 28 for only $1900

We have an excellent pool of Instructors

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Primate Behavior & Ecology

  • Katherine Amato, Ph.D.

  • Nancy Barrickman, Ph.D.

  • Laura Bolt, Ph.D.

  • Giuseppe Donati, Ph.D.

  • Paul Garber, Ph.D.

  • Susan Lappan, Ph.D.

  • Katherine C. MacKinnon, Ph.D.

  • Christopher Schmitt, Ph.D.

  • Amy Schreier, Ph.D.

  • Ruth Steel, Ph.D.

Advanced Primate Behavior & Ecology

  • Laura Bolt, Ph.D.

  • Robert Delgado, Ph.D.

  • Paul Garber, Ph.D.

Students have the ability to study and observe primate behavior patterns with MRC

Spanish & Cooking

  • Denisee Aguilar

The Maya World

  • Michael Ennis

Entomology

  • LaRoy Brant, Ph.D

Comparative Anatomy & Function

  • Helen Cho, Ph.D.

  • Dawn Mulhern, Ph.D.

Spanish & Pre-Columbian Art History

  • Carlo Velez

At night time, bats come out to feast. Which is when our students come to observe and study them.

Rainforest Ecology

  • LaRoy Brant, Ph.D.

Neotropical Bat Ecology

  • Thomas Risch, Ph.D.

  • Jessica Sewald, Ph.D.

Photography

  • LaRoy Brant, Ph.D.

Veterinarian Field Mission

  • Liz Lamperelli, D.V.M.

  • David Love, D.V.M.: Lead Veterinarian and Conservation Development Initiatives

  • Kelly Parish, D.V.M.


Students have the ability to study and observe primate behavior patterns with MRC

View the course descriptions to find the one for you

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Primatology

Primate Behavior & Ecology

This course is designed to be an extensive look at how primates adapt to their ecosystems both by physical characteristics and by various means of behavior. This course will also give students experience and training doing primate ethology in the field. We have the unique ability in this course to experience the ecosystem these animals live in. Through this, was can better understand both the structural and behavioral adaptations made by the primates we study. We will learn rain forest ecology and see how the ecosystem is delicately balanced with each species carving out a special niche. In this course, we will be covering the basic tenants of primatology in lectures and combining this with field research. Students will learn field research techniques as they relate to studying primates in the wild. Students will also create their own research projects which they will complete by the end of class.

Advanced Primate Behavior & Ecology

Intended for advanced students of primate behavior who wish to delve deeper into specific field techniques and primate research. A great emphasis is placed on individual research projects, their execution, and their presentation. Topics may include: methods of vegetation sampling in tropical rainforests, methods of collecting information on temporal changes in resource availability in the rainforest, mapping a field site, and methods of collecting data on the behavior and ecology of free-ranging nonhuman primates.

Ecology

Rainforest Ecology: Entomology

The course is a hands-on field experience to familiarize students with the diversity of life in the rainforest while developing a deeper understanding of tropical forest ecology and conservation. With a combination of lectures and fieldwork, time is spent on studying the diverse fauna in a tropical forest through various ecological sampling methods. Through on-site research projects students will build a foundation of skills and knowledge that are applicable to more specialized coursework or field research in primates, botany, herpetology, entomology, etc. We will focus on ecological research, behavior, and quantitative natural history of the more commonly encountered organisms

Rainforest Ecology

The course is a hands-on field experience to familiarize students with the diversity of life in the rainforest while developing a deeper understanding of tropical forest ecology and conservation. With a combination of lectures and fieldwork, time is spent on studying the diverse fauna in a tropical forest through various ecological sampling methods. Through on-site research projects students will build a foundation of skills and knowledge that are applicable to more specialized coursework or field research in primates, botany, herpetology, entomology, etc. We will focus on ecological research, behavior, and quantitative natural history of the more commonly encountered organisms.

Tropical Herpetology

Tropical Herpetology is a course that is designed to introduce students to the study of reptiles and amphibians, with emphasis on field biology, ethology and other topics that are relevant to the tropics. The species of Costa Rica will be examined in detail as representative of a tropical herpetofauna, but many of the principles discussed are broadly applicable. This course that assumes some familiarity with vertebrate biology. It is intended to complement, and not replace, a course in general herpetology; however, a general herpetology course is not a prerequisite for the present course.

Neotropical Bat Ecology

This course is designed to provide a detailed knowledge of Neotropical bats within an ecological framework. Extensive capturing of bats during nightly field excursions will supplement lecture material; provide opportunity for gaining extensive experience in capture techniques and identification of bats in hand, and lay the groundwork for individual research problems and projects. The class will take place on Ometepe Island, a volcanic island in Lake Nicaragua. As a class we will camp in the cloud forest and survey bats at higher elevations for at least one night.The end of the class will include a visit to Masaya Volcano National Park where we will observe a large nightly emergence of bats from a cave and we will explore the local culture of the historic city of Granada.

Rainforest Ecology: Ornithology

This course is designed to familiarize students in neotropical ecology, especially as it pertains to neotropical birds and the conservation of neotropical birds. Students will become familiar with basic concepts of ecology and avian biology. They will also be instructed on aspects of biogeography and neotropical avian ecology and behavioral ecology. All students will develop, design, and conduct an independent research project. Projects will be written up and presented to the class. To this end, all students will be introduced to ecological sampling techniques and simple data analyses.

Misc. Classes - Botany & Anatomy

Neotropical Ethnobotany

This course will focus on ethnoecology -- how people interact with ecosystems, and medical ethnobotany -- how people interact with medicinal plants. Students will learn from a combination of classroom-style lectures and hands-on activities. Students may also have the opportunity to conduct original ethnobotanical research. Major topics include the following:

  • Overview of the science of ethnobotany

  • Natural history, volcanism, botany, and ecology of Ometepe, a world heritage site

  • Comparison of natural history and ecology of the old and new world tropics

  • Land management, the environment, and health

  • Ethnobotanical research ethics, methods/techniques, and project design

  • Different perspectives from which to explore the relationship between people and plants

  • Botanical history of medicine

  • How plant medicines work in the body

  • Herbal medicine making and medicinal specimen collecting workshops

  • The food-medicine-poison continuum and food/herb-drug interactions

  • Conduct original ethnobotanical research in a unique cultural and ecological environment

Comparative Skeletal Anatomy & Function

The two week course is on skeletal anatomy of human and non-human skeletons, including monkeys. A significant portion of the course will be hands-on and students will learn the structure of various mammalian, bird, and reptilian skeletons, and observe the relationship between the bone structure and function. The course includes relevant activities such as observing monkeys and domesticated animals living in Ometepe. Comparative skeletal anatomy has numerous applications in veterinary medicine, bioarchaeology, paleoanthropology, forensic anthropology, primatology, and functional anatomy.

Photography for Field Scientists

This two-week workshop is designed for field scientists as well as beginner and intermediate photographers looking to develop and improve photography skills in a tropical field setting. Lectures will cover the technical basics of photography, principles of composition, digital post-processing and topics specific to tropical wildlife photography. Such instruction will be complemented by class slide show presentations and discussions, personalized help and a final presentation project. Hikes in the forests near the field station,together with organized trips on and off the island of Ometepe, will provide many opportunities for the photography of tropical flora and fauna, as well as landscape and cultural scenery. A digital camera (SLR or point-and-shoot) is required, and a laptop with image processing software (e.g. Photoshop) is recommended.

Veterinary Field Training Mission

Designed for Pre-Veterinary students in their undergraduate studies.

Students will learn about veterinary medicine and practical veterinary knowledge in a developing country. You will be a part of team who along with local Nicaraguan veterinarians and a dedicated group of veterinary graduate students will be helping animals in need of medical attention in a rural island called Ometepe. We will offer services to horses, cattle, dogs, cats and other animals. The course will cover basic clinical information about diagnostics and treatments including basic veterinary skills such as parasitological surveys, blood work, physical exams and more. Students gain hands on experience performing physical exams and prepping for surgery and post-op recovery.

With the current state of the global economy, this type of outreach program is needed more than ever. In less developed countries, the care for pets like dogs and cats is often a luxury rather than standard practice. Available resources are given to livestock, leaving other animals to fend for themselves. This makes animal population control of vital importance. While many of the locals we have encountered have been open and receptive to sterilization procedures for their pets, most of them cannot afford it. All of the services we will offer will be funded by your student tuition, needless to say, this program will be highly beneficial to both the participants and the community.

There are no requirements for the course, just interest in veterinary medicine and helping underprivileged animals. Please note that we are not officially associated with Auburn University Veterinarian school or any of the volunteer vets providing services, this is an independent program.