*Presentations and Programs
- to be attended throughout your travels, reading handouts will be
given to you when necessary
of Costa Rica
• Rainforest Types, Structure, and Stability
• Identifying the variety of life (flora and fauna) that exists
in the various Costa Rican tropical rainforests and coral reefs
• Interspecific interactions and community structure
• Disturbance and community structure
• Species richness and abundance: biotic and abiotic factors
• Importance of biodiversity and threats (required reading, The
Future of Life, E .O. Wilson)
• Costa Rican conservation efforts
* Students in Biology 497 must select a topic of interest (approved by
instructor) and lead a
30-45 minute discussion.
- to be completed throughout your travels and upon your return to the mainland.
will be given a trip journal
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
your trip you will be asked to write a short summary for each day travel.
Your submitted entries will be incorporated into student learning activities
for students in Drs. Jacqueline McLaughlin's and Stam Zervano's PSU
first year seminar course entitled Biodiversity on Line. Your entries
will also be quoted in various newspaper, magazine, and journal publications
given your permission.
trip you will also be required to answer the following questions. It is
suggested that you keep them in mind and write some of your answers throughout
a). In general,
what impressed you the most about Costa Rica?
b). Overall, what were your best and worst experiences?
c). Any surprises or disappointments throughout the trip?
d). What did you learn about the biodiversity of Costa Rica’s rainforests?
e). What problems concerning biodiversity did you uncover? And are there
f). How have human activities impacted the natural habitats of Costa Rica?
g). What are your opinions on the future of Costa Rica’s biodiversity?
h). Give an example of two or three key concepts of biodiversity that
you experienced firsthand in the field.
Examples: keystone species exerting strong controls on community structure,
affects of abiotic factors, affects of biogeographic factors, ecological
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
taking the Biology 297 credits are required to research one selected Costa
Rican plant or animal species. Students taking Biology 497 credits are
required to research two-selected Costa Rican plant or animal species
(tropical rainforest or coral reef). In order to eliminate replication,
you need to tell Dr. McLaughlin the species you have chosen. Please do
this on the airplane to Costa Rica or sometime early on, during the trip.
She will record your choices(s) and eliminate it from her list. If there
is replication she will notify you so that individuals can make other
choices, if need be.
During your 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, using field guide books, etc. Upon your return you may wish
to research your organism(s) some more. You will need to answer the following
1. What is
the scientific name of the species? Common name?
2. Where was the organism spotted?
3. What is the range and habitat of the species?
4. What is its evolutionary history? (Origin, relatives etc.)
5. What role does it play in its environment (niche)? Is it a keystone
6. Any unique adaptations?
7. Elaborate on the species food chain.
8. Is it an endemic species to Costa Rica? If not, where else is it found?
9. What are the threats to its survival?
| Description | Requirements
| Outline | Itinerary
| Cost | Application
Penn State Berks-Lehigh
site was last updated on September 9, 2002.
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