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Dalhousie summer course: Tropical Ornithology in Belize

Posted by Office of Sustainability on April 14, 2014 in students, All News, Faculty of Science


Announcing a new Dalhousie summer course: Tropical Ornithology in Belize

May 13 – 28, 2014

Spend two weeks in Belize, Central America, studying the birds of Belize, for Biology credit. A few places are still available. Deadline to apply: April 18, 2014

Course description: Taught entirely in Belize, this course provides a hands-on introduction to the diversity, biology, behaviour, and ecology of tropical birds. Duration is two weeks, one spent at a field station in the foothills of the Maya Mountains and the other visiting biodiversity hotspots in other parts of the country.

Prerequisite: Biology 2060 (Ecology) OR instructor’s permission

Instructor: Dr. Cindy Staicer, Biology Dept, Dalhousie Ph: 494-3533 Email: cindy.staicer@dal.ca

Cost: Tuition for a half-credit Biology class PLUS an auxiliary fee to cover travel and living expenses

The first week will be spent at the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (T.R.E.E.S.) field station from which hiking trails extend into large nature reserves. Here you will learn about the biology, ecology, and behaviour of the birds of Belize through lectures and field exercises. You will also conduct an independent project to address a question about the birds in the area.

The second week will be spent camping and visiting biodiversity hotspots such as Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, the Tropical Education Centre,  and Tobacco Caye, offshore island surrounded by coral reefs.

Evaluation is based on a field notebook, documentation and presentation of the independent project, short write-ups of field exercises, a test on the lecture material, and a field identification quiz. Exercises provide hands-on experience with bird survey methods, behavioural observations, and ecological measurement techniques. This summer, the course is being offered as Biol 4810.03, Special Topics in Ecology.