I. Reading and Web Assignments

II. Lectures and Programs

III. Journal Assignments

IV. Species Assignments

V. Field Research for Biology 497 Students

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

Peru - General Information
CIA World Fact Book - Peru
Lonely Planet - Peru
Library of Congress: Peru - A Country Study
Peru.com Travel
The Andes Web Ring (Photos & Info)
Peru: Handbook
Lima Post (news)
Washington Post.com: Peru

Peruvian Culture
Cultures of the Andes
The Indigenous Cultures of Peru
Peru Travel Adventures: Peru People and Preserved Culture

Art and Culture of the Incas
Peruvian Art and Culture
Music of the Central Andes
Afro-Peruvian Culture
Let'sGo.com: Peru - Literature

Peruvian National Parks
National Protected Areas in Peru
Enjoy Peru Nature: National Parks

Peru: National Parks Guide
Peru Traveller Guide: National Parks
Manu: Peru's Hidden Rain Forest
Peruvian Yungas

Flora and Fauna
Species List for Peru
Andean Botanical Information System
Manu Flora and Fauna
Enjoy Peru: Nature
Animal Info - Peru
Peru Birding
Peru Flora and Fauna
(photos only)
The Catalogue of the Flowering Plants and Gymnosperms of Peru

Biodiversity and Biological Collections Web Server
Centres of Plant Diversity in South America
World Atlas of Biodiversity
The Tree of Life Web Project
World Wildlife Fund: Factsheets
Animal Diversity Web
Resources for the Future: Biodiversity
Biodiversity and World Map
Biodiversity Project: What is Biodiversity?
Conservation International
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Union of Concerned Scientists: Citizens and Scientists for Environmental Solutions
World Conservation Union

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

• Biodiversity and Speciation
• Biogeography of Peru
• Rainforest structure and stability
• Fluora and Fauna of Peru
• Interspecific interactions
• Disturbance and Community Structure
• Species Richness and Abundance
• Evolutionary adaptions of desert and rainforest organisms
• Importance of Biodiversity
• Threats to Biodiversity (required reading, The Future of Life, E .O. Wilson) and Peru’s conservation efforts

Diary of an Amazon Jungle Guide; Amazing Encounters with Tropical Nature and Culture (includes a history of Amazonia Expeditions) by Paul Beaver

* 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.

III. Journal Assignments

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

    You 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 surprises, etc
    After 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.
    After your 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 Peru?
    • Overall, what were your best and worst experiences?
    • Any surprises or disappointments throughout the trip?
    • What did you learn about the biodiversity of Peru’s rainforests?
    • What problems concerning biodiversity did you uncover? And are there solutions?
    • How have human activities impacted the natural habitats of Peru?
    • What are your opinions on the future of Peru’s biodiversity?
    • 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.

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 thoroughly research a selected Peruvian plant or animal species. Students taking Biology 497 credits are required to thoroughly research two selected Peruvian 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 Peru 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 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 questions like the following:
    • What is the scientific name of the species? Common name?
    • Where was the organism spotted?
    • What is the range and habitat of the species?
    • What is its evolutionary history? (Origin, relatives etc.)
    • What role does it play in its environment (niche)? Is it a keystone species?
    • Any unique adaptations?
    • Elaborate on the species food chain.
    • Is it an endemic species to Peru? If not, where else is it found?
    • What are the threats to its survival



V. Field Research for Biology 497 Students.

- to be completed during your travels and upon your return to the mainland
Based on pre-trip reference reviews and discussions with the course instructors, you will submit a protocol for conducting a field research study during our stay in Peru. 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.

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