Current Course Offerings

Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

La Suerte, Costa Rica

Rainforest Ecology

05/12/2018 – 06/09/2018

Professor TBD, Ometepe & La Suerte

The course is a hands-on field experience to familiarize students with the diversity of life in the rainforest (read more)

$2000

Photography for the Field Biologist

05/12/2018 – 06/02/2018

Professor Dr. LaRoy Brant, Ometepe & La Suerte

This two-week workshop is designed for field scientists as well as beginner and intermediate (read more)

$2000

Primate Behavior & Ecology

05/24/2018 – 06/20/2018; 06/21/2018 – 07/01/2018; 07/19/2018 – 08/24/2018

Professor Dr. Laura Bolt, La Suerte

This course is designed to be an extensive look at how primates adapt to their ecosystems (Read More)

$2000

Advanced Primate Behavior & Ecology

TBD

Professor TBD

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit laborum (read more)

$2000

Neotropical Bat Ecology

05/16/2018 – 05/30/2018

Professor TBD, Ometepe

This course is designed to provide a detailed knowledge of Neotropical bats within an ecological framework (read more)

$2000

Art Archeology & Spanish

05/24/2018 – 06/18/2018

Professor TBD, Ometepe

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit laborum (read more)

$2000

Veterinary Field Training

TBD

Professor TBD

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit laborum (read more)

$2000

Rainforest Ecology: Entomology

TBD

Professor TBD

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit laborum (read more)

$2000

Tropical Herpetology

TBD

Professor TBD

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit laborum (read more)

$2000

Rainforest Ecology: Ornithology

TBD

Professor TBD

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit laborum (read more)

$2000

Neotropical Ethnobotany

TBD

Professor TBD

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit laborum (read more)

$2000

Comparative Skeletal Anatomy & Function

TBD

Professor TBD

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit laborum (read more)

$2000

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Instructors & Course Descriptions

Primate Behavior & Ecology

Instructors: 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.

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

InstructorsLaura Bolt, Ph.D., Robert Delgado, Ph.D., Paul Garber, Ph.D.

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.

Rainforest Ecology: Entomology

Instructors: LaRoy Brant, Ph.D

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.

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.

Rainforest Ecology: General

Instructors: LaRoy Brant, Ph.D.

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.

Neotropical Bat Ecology

Instructors: Thomas Risch, Ph.D., Jessica Sewald, Ph.D.

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.

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.

Veterinary Field Training

Instructors: Liz Lamperelli, D.V.M., David Love, D.V.M, Kelly Parish, D.V.M.

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.

Photography for the Field Biologist

Instructor: LaRoy Brant, Ph.D.

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.

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