BS Degree in Biology {22-23} - Tropical Conservation Biology

Course Code
BIOL 335  Credits
Title Tropical Conservation Biology 
Lasc Area Goal 10  
Course Outline Course Outline 
Description There is one lecture per week during the spring semester to discuss definitions of biodiversity, and general principles of biological conservation. We discuss why diversity is so high in tropical regions, the value of biodiversity in terms of ecological services and economic potential. We then consider Costa Rica as a case study where these principles have been implemented so successfully. The "lab" component of this course is a mandatory, 12-day class trip to Costa Rica over spring break. In Costa Rica, students and faculty spend 2 days in a dry forest research station at Santa Rosa National Park to study the role of research in bioconservation, 4 days at an ecolodge in a humid forest in the "absolute" reserve at Cabo Blanco on the Pacific Ocean to study the impact of excluding people for more than 50 years, and another 4 days in cloud forest near Monteverde Reserve to study ecotourism as an effective but imperfect tool for conservation. A special fee is required to cover the costs of travel, food, and accommodations. MnTC Goal 10.