I. Reading and Web Assignments

II. Lectures and Programs

III. Journal Assignments

IV. Species Assignments


I. Reading and Web Assignments:
- to be completed before departure, questions will be sent to you

  1. Costa Rica - General Information
    CIA World Factbook http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/cs.html
    Costa Rica Bruncas http://www.bruncas.com/
    Costa Rica Handbook http://www.photo.net/cr/moon/cr-handbook
    Lonely Planet: Destination Costa Rica http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/central_america/costa_rica/

    Costa Rica http://www.fodors.com/miniguides/mgresults.cfm?destination=costa_rica@53&cur_section=ove
    Central America Web Directory http://t-w.virtualave.net/link/p/Virtual_Travel/

    (U.S.) Consular Information http://travel.state.gov/costa_rica.html
    Cocori: Complete Costa Rica http://www.cocori.com/index.htm

  2. Costa Rican Culture
    Costa Rica's Culture http://www.infocostarica.com/culture/
    Costa Rica Supersite http://www.incostarica.net/docs/culture/
    Costa Rica Arts and Culture http://www.photo.net/cr/moon/arts-and-culture.html

  3. Costa Rican National Parks
    World Headquarters: Costa Rica National Parks http://www.worldheadquarters.com/cr/protected_areas/
    National Parks of Costa Rica http://www.intnet.co.cr/costarica/parks/parks.html
    National Parks Center from Costa Rica Supersite http://www.incostarica.net/docs/nationalparks/
    Costa Rica Map's Biodiversity http://www.costaricamap.com/ing/bioparques.html
    Costa Rica National Parks and Reserves http://www.costarica.com/travel/parks/parks2.html
    Costa Rica Travel and Tourism Bureau http://www.costaricabureau.com/nationalparks.htm
    Phillip Greenspan's Costa Rica http://www.photo.net/cr/index.html

  4. Costa Rican Flora and Fauna
    Martin Kramer's Animals of Costa Rica http://home.wxs.nl/~mkramer/costa_en.htm
    INBio (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad) http://www.inbio.ac.cr/en/default.html
    Manual de Plantes de Cosa Rica http://www.inbio.ac.cr/papers/manual_plantas/index.html
    Organization for Tropical Studies http://ns.ots.ac.cr/
    La Suerte Biological Field Station and Ometepe Biological Field Station http://www.studyabroad.com/lasuerte/
    Skip's Costa Rica Nature Tour - http://home.teleport.com/~skipr/CostaRica/costa.htm

  5. Biodiversity Links
    Association for biodiversity Information http://www.abi.org
    Biodiversity Project: What is Biodiversity? http://www.biodiversityproject.org/biodiversity.htm
    Conservation International: Biodiversity Basics http://conservation.org/investigate/basics/
    Environmental Literacy Council: Biodiversity http://enviroliteracy.org/biodiversity.html
    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species http://redlist.org
    Union of Concerned Scientists: Biodiversity http://www.ucsusa.org/environment/0biodiversity.html
    World Conservation Union: Biodiversity is Life! http://www.iucn.org/bil/main.html

II. *Lectures and Programs:
- to be attended throughout your travels, reading handouts will be given to you

  • Mechanisms of Evolution
  • Biodiversity and Speciation
  • Biogeography of Costa Rica
  • Rainforest Structure and Stability
  • Importance of Biodiversity and Threat
* Students in Biology 497 will select a topic of interest and lead a 30-45 minute discussion.

III. Journal Assignments
- to be completed throughout your travels and upon your return to the mainland

You will be given a trip notebook to keep notes on your trip. For example, you should keep a daily journal of things you did, things you saw and things you learned.

You might also want to keep track of the people you met and anything else you wish to remember, such as your first impressions, your surprises, etc.

After your trip you will be asked to write a short summary for each day of your trip. Your summaries will be incorporated into student learning activities for students in Drs. McLaughlin's and Zervano's first year seminar course entitled Biodiversity on Line.

You will also be asked to answer the following questions:

  1. What impressed you most about Costa Rica?
  2. What were your best and worst experiences?
  3. Any surprises or disappointments?
  4. What did you learn about biodiversity?
  5. What problems did you uncover? Are there solutions?

IV. Species Assignments
- to be completed throughout your travels and upon your return to the mainland

Students taking the Biology 297 credits are required to identify one Costa Rican plant or animal species that they heard about before or during their trip. Students taking the Biology 497 credits are required to identify two Costa Rican plant or animal species.

In order to eliminate replication, you need to tell Dr. McLaughlin which species you have chosen as soon as possible during the trip. Then, try to find out as much as possible about your selected species by asking questions, using available field guides, etc. Upon your return you may wish to do more research.

The following questions should be answered:

  1. What is the range and habitat of the species?
  2. What is its evolutionary history? (Origin, relatives etc.)
  3. What role does it play in its environment (niche)?
  4. Any unique adaptations?
  5. What are the threats to its survival?

If at all possible, you will need a photo of your selected organisms.

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This page was last updated on January 10, 2002.
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