Overview Description Requirements Outline Itinerary Cost Application Instructor Rainforest And Reef Penn State Lehigh Valley Biology - Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin

The course is divided into three sessions:


Red Backed Spider Monkey

1. Pre-trip Session (Background Knowledge)

The pre-trip session will consist of assignments using the course web site (see “Outline” link). These assignments will focus on background information on Costa Rica, its ecosystems, its history, culture, government, and the human impacts on biodiversity.

Owl Butterfly


2. Trip Session (Conceptualizing Knowledge)

The trip session will consist of a two week expedition through selected Costa Rican habitats. Daily programs, research activities, round-table discussion sessions, and participant presentations will occur throughout the trip. Maintenance of a journal, and research of a selected species or the completion an independent research project in and out of the field is also required (see “Requirement” link).


The following topics, or ones related to these, will be covered:

• Biogeography of Costa Rica
• Biodiversity and speciation
• Species richness and abundance
• Rainforest structure and stability
• Identifying the variety of life (flora and fauna) that exists in the rainforest
• Species interactions
• Evolutionary adaptations of rainforest organisms
• Ecosystems and their interactions
• Importance of biodiversity and threats (required reading, The Future of Life, E.O. Wilson)
• Human impacts on the environment
• Costa Rica’s rainforest conservation efforts
• Threatened, endangered and extinct species
• The plight of the Chelonia mydas (Atlantic Green) and the Dermochelys coriacea (Leatherback) sea turtles (required reading, The Windward Road, Archie Carr)
• Conservation and research efforts of the Carribean Conservation Corporation (CCC), the Asociacion ANAI, and La Selva Biological Station (Organization of Tropical Studies).

Buttress Roots

3. Post-trip Session (Integration & Application of Concepts)

Submission of reports, journal entries, species assignments, and answers to questions that summarize the objectives of the course will occur during the post trip session (see “Outline” link for more information).

Bubble Flower

Overview | Description | Requirements | Outline | Itinerary | Cost | Application | Instructor

2005 Photo Album

©2005Penn State Berks-Lehigh Valley College

This site was last updated on July 30, 2005.
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