Explore new wildlife and ecosystems, experience different cultures, and learn about conservation issues in Belize!
Program Location and Description
This short-term study abroad course will example wildlife ecology, conservation, and field methods in the tropics. The program will use two field stations as bases for the course instruction, including the classroom activities, labs, and student-led research projects. Students will have the opportunity to see new wildlife and ecosystems, experience different cultures, and explore wildlife and conservation issues in Belize. Upon completion of the course students will have developed the field skills necessary to conduct terrestrial natural resource ecology and conservation research in the tropics.
The program will begin at the Tropical Education Center (TEC), located approximately 30 miles west of Belize City. The center is run by the Belize Zoo, home to more than 125 native species, and is only a 10-minute drive from the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, a privately owned wildlife reserve. With over 1800 acres of easily accessible pine savanna, TEC provides excellent opportunities to conduct wildlife and conservation related research projects in a pine savanna system.
The group will also stay at Las Cuevas Research Station (LCRS), a research station run by the non-governmental organization Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD). LCRS is located in the Cayo District inside Chiquibul Forest (comprised of Chiquibul National Park- CNP and Forest Reserve- CFR), an area of primarily dry topical rainforest and Belize's largest protected area (265,000 acres). LCRS provides an amazing opportunity to explore the conservation issues associated with a large protected area (CNP) and also gives the chance to conduct lab activities and student-led research projects in an area of dry tropical rainforest.
Students will receive a total of 3 credit hours in AGNR 491: International Experience in Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Through a combination of lectures, readings, discussions, labs, field trips, and a research project, students will receive a thorough knowledge and understanding of tropical wildlife, ecosystems, and conservation, as well as hands-on practical experience in the field methods and techniques used to conduct natural resource studies in the region.
While primarily geared towards students in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries (FWF), this course is open to students from other majors.
Students and faculty will stay in accommodations associated with the two field research stations. Accommodation at TEC is comprised of cabanas, each sleeping two people. At LCRS, accommodation is in dormitories, each room sleeping 2-4 students. Both the TEC cabanas and the LCRS dormitories have separate male and female flush toilets and showers and unisex hand basins.
Emma Willcox, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Science, firstname.lastname@example.org
Adam Willcox, Research Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, email@example.com