Reading and Web Assignments:
- to be completed before departure, questions will be sent to
- to be attended throughout your travels, reading handouts will
be given to you
structure and stability
and Fauna of Tanzania
and Community Structure
Richness and Abundance
adaptions of savanna organisms
(required reading, The Future of Life,
E .O. Wilson) Tanzania conservation efforts
* Students in Biology 497 must select a topic of interest (related
to one of the above areas) and lead a 30-45 minute group discussion. An outline and list of references is required before departure.
- to be completed throughout your travels and upon your return
to the mainland.
You will be receiving a trip notebook on the airplane once we are settled with your name and PSU affiliation. It should be used to keep a running "log" of your trip. Everyday, you are expected to record field and lecture experiences (notes) and knowledge gains in key environmental science and/or conservation biology principles (like succession, rainforest structure, trophic levels). Also, sites, inspirations, surprises, first impressions, other facts learned, and interesting conversations with instructors, guides or peers should be recorded. You might also want to keep track of the people you meet. After your trip you will be required to provide your instructors with several paragraphs from your daily journal entries.
trip you will also be required to answer the following questions
(more may be added
that directly related to trip experiences). It is suggested that
you keep them in mind and write some of your answers
throughout your travels.
- In general,
what impressed you the most about Tanzania?
what were your best and worst experiences?
- Any surprises
or disappointments throughout the trip?
- What did
you learn about the biodiversity of Tanzania's savanna?
- What problems
concerning biodiversity did you uncover? And are there solutions?
- How have
human activities impacted the natural habitats of Tanzania?
- What are
your opinions on the future of Tanzania's biodiversity?
- Give an
example of two or three key concepts of biodiversity that you
experienced firsthand in the field.
keystone species exerting strong controls on community structure,
affects of abiotic factors, affects of biogeographic factors,
succession, and disturbance and community structure. Elaborate
on how these
experiences impacted your learning.
- to be completed throughout
your travels and upon your return to the mainland
taking the Biology 297 credits are required to thoroughly research
a selected Tanzanian plant or animal species. Students taking
Biology 497 credits are required to thoroughly research two selected
Tanzanian plant or animal species. In order to eliminate replication,
you need to tell Dr. McLaughlin the species that you have chosen.
Please do this on the airplane to Tanzania or sometime early on,
during the trip.
trip you should try to find out as much as possible about your
selected organism(s) by asking questions, talking with expert naturalist
field guides or biologists, using field guide books, etc. Upon your return you
may wish to research your organism(s) some more.
will need to answer questions like the following:
What is the scientific name of the species? Common name?
Where was the organism spotted?
is the range and habitat of the species?
What is its evolutionary history? (Origin, relatives etc.)
role does it play in its environment (niche)? Is it a
on the species food chain.
it an endemic species to Tanzania? If not, where else
is it found?
are the threats to its survival?
Field Research for Biology 497 Students.
- to be completed during your travels and upon your return
to the mainland
You will conduct actual
a field research in conservation biology during your stay in Tanzania. A scientific
report will be due as part of your post-trip assignment and
will include objectives, methods, data analysis and interpretation,
conclusions, and literature review.