Middle America, the region extending from central Mexico to Colombia, is one of the most biologically diverse regions of the world with a high degree of endemism (species found nowhere else). This diversity and endemism have resulted from a complex tectonic and climatic history that has promoted the evolution of different species. The objective of this course is to explore this diversity across different ecoregions of Costa Rica, focusing on the diversity and abundance of small to medium-sized mammals at elevations ranging from sea-level rainforests and dry forests to high-elevation cloud forests. The course will begin by studying rainforest ecology at the Osa Peninsula and then transitioning up the coast of Costa Rica to sea-level dry forests and the highlands of the Monteverde area to study the biodiversity on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides of the Tilaran mountains. While the focus will be surveying and sampling mammals, students will also study the flora, fauna, and cultural elements in these different regions. Additionally, we will explore the unique Costa Rican cultural character and some of the reasons for this uniqueness and engage in a service project in the Monteverde area. (Offered every other year). Prerequisites: BIOL 3413, CHEM 1318, 1118 .
The Core Capacities