[Coral-List] 2011 WINTER COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT (December 20th- January 9th)

Lais Chaves lctchaves at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 17:40:31 EDT 2011

2011 WINTER COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT (December 20th- January 9th)


LOCATION: The field course will take place at the Institute for Tropical
Ecology and Conservation (ITEC) Bocas del Toro Biological Station, Boca del
Drago, Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro, Panama: http://www.itec-edu.org The Bocas
del Toro ("mouths of the bull") Biological Station is located on the north
end of Isla Colón in an area known as Boca del Drago ("mouth of the
dragon"). Isla Colón is the northern-most of five large islands and hundreds
of smaller ones that form the Bocas del Toro Archipelago. Set in Almirante
Bay on the Caribbean side of western Panama, this collection of islands is
sometimes referred to as the "Galapagos of Central America". This is
because, after having been isolated for 10,000 years by geologic activity,
each of the islands has evolved its own unique biota. Taking its name from
Christopher Columbus who sailed into this region in 1502, Isla Colón is
approximately 14 km long and 7 km wide. Isla Colón is composed primarily of
limestone, and has a hilly topography supporting primary and secondary
tropical rain forest. This island has a 5 km beach (Bluff Beach) on its east
side, mangroves on its west side, and caves in the interior. Marine habitats
include extensive turtle grass beds, hard and soft coral reefs, beaches,
rocky intertidals, mangrove forests and estuaries.

Isla Colón has the highest human population in the archipelago, with most
individuals living in the town of Bocas del Toro located on the far side of
the island from our facility. Besides being biologically diverse, the region
is also culturally diverse with a mix of Latin American, Afro-Caribbean and
indigenous Ngöbe. Spanish is the official language but English is spoken.
Many Ngöbe speak only their native dialect. There are only two roads on the
island, both originating in the town of Bocas. One road travels along the
eastern margin of the island to Bluff Beach and the other cuts through the
island's interior to Boca del Drago, where our facility is located.

INSTRUCTORS: Carlos G. A. Ormond, Simon Fraser University, email:
cormond at sfu.ca ; Elizabeth McGinty, University of Texas at Arlington, email:
mcginty at uta.edu ; and Laís Chaves, Federal University of Pernanbuco,

COURSE LENGTH AND SCHEDULE: Winter field courses are three weeks in length
(December 20th- January 9th).

TUITION: $1850 USD. Tuition fee includes all room and board, local
transportation and a three-day field trip to the Boquete cloud forest on
Panama’s mainland.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: November 20, 2011. Since registration is limited to
15 students, we recommend those interested to contact one of the instructors
in order for them to be aware of your interest and application.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to promote the desire for not
only discovery and advanced understanding of coral reef ecosystems from an
integrated ecological perspective but also an appreciation and understanding
of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) culture. In addition to learning
coral reef ecosystem dynamics, organism identification, and experimental
design, this course will also investigate human dimensions in coral reef
ecosystems, both past and present. To compliment the course, students will
be exposed to both Spanish and Portuguese in order to encourage students to
interact with the both the local and LAC communities.

By taking an integrated multidisciplinary approach, this course will
demonstrate the importance of melding traditional approaches to
understanding and investigating coral reef ecosystems with the human
dimension. A large component of the course will involve field and community
work, complimented by lectures and discussions on daily course readings. The
course will require the completion of group assignments, as well as an
individual research project that may be as much sociological as it is
ecological in theory. Therefore, the course will not only be of interest to
those of you in the natural sciences but also those of you from the social

General Topics
• Environmental History and Cultural Anthropology of Panama
• Coral Reef Formation and Oceanography
• Coral Reef Ecology
• Fish Ecology and Behavior
• Quantitative and Qualitative Sampling Methods
• Research Design
• Current State of Coral Reefs
• Coral Reef Conservation issues
• Climate Change Impacts and Solutions
• Coral Reef Conservation Issues

NOTE: Dive certification is not necessary to enroll in this course, but what
is required is an attraction to the ocean and a comfort in being in it. All
students will require snorkel equipment (mask and fins) and those with SCUBA
certification are expected to bring their own BCD, regulator, and most
importantly proof of certification. There is the possibility of renting dive
equipment as well as receiving dive certification from the local dive shops..
If this is something that interests you, please contact Carlos for more

COURSE CREDIT: Up to eight units of credit will be granted for this course.
Credit must be arranged by the student through his/her academic advisor and
university. Contact ITEC for details.

CONTACT: Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC); 2911 NW
40th Place, Gainesville, FL 32605; phn: 352-367-9128, fax: 352-367-0610,
email:itec at itec-edu.org ., or Carlos G. A. Ormond cormond at sfu.ca . Please
visit us on the web at www.itec-edu.org . ITEC is a Non-profit (501c3)

* Aunque esta clase está presentada en inglés, si sos hispanoparlante y
estás interesado/a en tomar esta clase sobre los arrecifes de coral por
favor comunícate conmigo, Carlos.

More information about the Coral-List mailing list