2019 SUMMER COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT (June 15-July 10)
FIELD COURSE IN NEOTROPICAL HERPETOLOGY (NEH B-19)
COURSE LOCATION: Bocas del Toro Biological Station, Boca del Drago, Isla
Colon, Republic of Panama. The biological station is located on a hill
facing the Caribbean Sea. Coral reef and seagrass ecosystems lie in front
of the station and lowland tropical rain forests surround us. This
juxtaposition of the two most biologically diverse ecosystems provides
tremendous opportunities for education and research. See:
https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.itec-edu.org%2F&data=02%7C01%7Ceric.schultz%40uconn.edu%7C2e8ca5aed8f4453252ed08d6a6cd863f%7C17f1a87e2a254eaab9df9d439034b080%7C0%7C0%7C636879799031609792&sdata=%2BYb6ugbOsPDaM%2F8%2FTn7SUOfkU%2B8fVyrRCcRgoaflXoM%3D&reserved=0 for details.
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Adam Clause, UCLA, tel: 805-807-8792, email:
email@example.com , web:
https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fitec-edu.org%2Fneotropical-herpetology%2F&data=02%7C01%7Ceric.schultz%40uconn.edu%7C2e8ca5aed8f4453252ed08d6a6cd863f%7C17f1a87e2a254eaab9df9d439034b080%7C0%7C0%7C636879799031609792&sdata=BpRmNB6Q6M9qDlGjaQdYWBXEsMKDeN8SAu3unlU2TbA%3D&reserved=0, Specialty: Biodiversity
scientist, conservation biologist and herpetologist.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed for undergraduate and graduate
students, and is equivalent to an upper-level university course in
herpetology. Instructional material focuses on the ecology, behavior,
biogeography, systematics, and conservation of the amazingly diverse
Neotropical herpetofauna. Students will develop hands-on familiarity with
most of the major reptile and amphibian clades (groups) of Panama and
adjacent Costa Rica; we routinely encounter over 50 species during the
course. Students will also practice the scientific method and hypothesis
testing using these organisms. Whenever possible, we emphasize the
development of practitioner-oriented skills relevant to a broad spectrum of
postgraduate biology careers. The course is roughly divided into four
modules, each lasting roughly one week. During the first week, orientation
walks will familiarize students with the trail network and numerous
ecosystems surrounding the ITEC field station on Isla ColÃƒÂ³n. Next, we will
spend time practicing standard field techniques, completing various group
exercises, and identifying an individual research project for each student.
Much of the third week will be spent touring mainland Panama, with visits to
Pacific cloud forest at Boquete, Pacific dry forest, and lowland Caribbean
forest at Finca Silvestre. On returning to Isla ColÃƒÂ³n, students will collect
and analyze data for their individual research projects, and present their
results both in written form and orally.
Lectures: Throughout the four weeks, but particularly in the first half of
the course, we schedule classroom lectures (usually in the afternoon and
evening) to introduce topics that will be reinforced in the field.
Additional, informal lectures will also be delivered periodically during
orientation walks, group field projects, and in discussion groups. Lecture
topics may include:
* Evolution of amphibians and reptiles
* Classification and identification of amphibians and reptiles
* Historical biogeographic relationships
* Reproductive strategies and mating systems
* Reproduction and genetics in marine turtles
* Island biogeography and color polymorphism in poison dart frogs
* Life history strategies in amphibians and reptiles
* Standard herpetological sampling techniques
* Herp-human mythology and interactions
* Conservation issues in herpetology
Vitt, Laurie J., and Janalee P. Caldwell. 2014. Herpetology: An Introductory
Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles, 4th edition. Elsevier Inc.
KÃƒÂ¶hler, Gunther. 2008. Reptiles of Central America, 2nd edition. Herpeton
Verlag Elke KÃƒÂ¶hler.
KÃƒÂ¶hler, Gunther. 2011. Amphibians of Central America, 2nd edition. Herpeton
Verlag Elke KÃƒÂ¶hler.
Savage, Jay M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A
Herpetofauna Between Two Continents, Between Two Seas, 2nd
edition. University of Chicago Press.
GROUP FIELD PROJECTS: These projects are designed by the faculty and
carried out by groups of two to six students. Their purpose is to
familiarize students with the wide array of techniques and equipment
commonly used in herpetological field studies. The exercises also
necessitate working collaboratively and communicating results, which are key
abilities in any biological profession. With help from faculty, students
will set up projects, collect and analyze data, and briefly present the
results in class and/or write a short report. Topics will depend on what is
available and logistically feasible, and may be changed based on student
interest/preference. Short half-day excursions to nearby destinations are
also scheduled. These trips will expose students to habitats and species
absent from the immediate surroundings of the field station, offering
further opportunities for experiential study. Group field projects and
excursions may include:
* Forest night hikes
* Tail flicking behavior in geckos
* Comparative study of leaf litter herpetofauna
* Nesting behavior in leatherback sea turtles
* Canopy herpetofauna using canopy access techniques
* Herpetofaunal biodiversity analysis
* Population ecology in poison dart frogs
* Isla Bastimentos and/or Isla Solarte: dart frog polymorphism
* Soropta Canal: iguanas, caiman, crocodiles
* Renacimiento Creek: aquatic anoles and glass frogs
* Mimbitimbi: cave and riverine herps
* Isla Pajaros (Bird Island)
Individual Research Projects: With close faculty guidance, students will be
responsible for designing and completing an original herpetological research
project of their choosing. These projects will be selected and carried out
mostly during the second half of the course. Students will have about 7Ã‚Â10
days for data collection, depending on the project. A few days before the
course ends, students will analyze their data and write a 5Ã‚Â10 page
technical report. All students are also expected to orally deliver a
PowerPoint presentation of their work during a station-wide symposium on the
last day of the course. NO PERSONAL COLLECTING OF THE HERPETOFAUNA WILL BE
BOQUETE CLOUD FOREST FIELD TRIP: This three-day field trip takes place
midway through the course and will allow students the opportunity to
experience assemblages of amphibians and reptiles found in tropical cloud
and seasonally dry forests. We travel in ITEC boats to the mainland and
then by private bus to the town of Boquete which lies at the base of 11,000
ft Volcan Baru. The bus trip will take us up and over the central mountain
range and through remote Palo Seco National Park. Several stops will be
made in route.
COURSE LENGTH: ITEC Summer field courses are about four weeks in length. The
NEH B-19 will run from June 15 through July 10, 2019.
TUITION: $2250 USD. Tuition fee includes all lodging, meals and airport
transfers in Bocas del Toro. The tuition also covers transportation and
lodging during the 3-day cloud forest field trip to Boquete.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 15, 2019. The course is limited to 10 students
and applications will be evaluated as they arrive. If you believe that your
application may arrive late, notify ITEC.
GRADING and COURSE CREDIT: Up to 6 units of credit will be given, 3 for the
lecture portion and 3 for the field portion. A letter grade will be
assigned based on exams, reports, proposals, attendance at lectures, as well
as by less tangibles such as personal attitude, motivation, and contribution
to the course. Course credit must be arranged in advance through the
student’s institution. Contact ITEC for details.
APPLICATIONS can be found at:
A list of amphibians and reptiles found at the field station and adjacent
mainland areas can be found at
CONTACT: Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation, 2911 NW 40th PL,
Gainesville, FL 32605, tel: 352-367-9128, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, web:
https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.itec-edu.org&data=02%7C01%7Ceric.schultz%40uconn.edu%7C2e8ca5aed8f4453252ed08d6a6cd863f%7C17f1a87e2a254eaab9df9d439034b080%7C0%7C0%7C636879799031609792&sdata=J3k60U96tDSBdiJipsjXN4%2FlQH7hWBmN6jE7%2FoKqDTQ%3D&reserved=0 . ITEC is a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization founded in 1996.
Peter N. Lahanas, Ph.D.
Institute for Tropical Ecology
2911 NW 40th Place
Gainesville, FL 32605
Phone in Panama: (507) 6853-2134