Course Description

This course is an immersive and hands-on introduction to the ecology, evolution, and natural history of the Amazon rainforest, Andean cloud forest, and Galapagos Islands, with students spending most of the time outdoors on field studies. We review basic principles of ecology (e.g., species interactions, productivity, succession, and coevolution), evolution (e.g., natural selection, speciation, colonization, and island biogeography), and natural history (e.g., identification and observations of common tropical plant, bird, and insect taxa) as they pertain to the habitats we visit and study. Students also learn about the threats to these habitats and complexity surrounding their conservation. Students are exposed to some of the customs and diverse cultures of the country through programs and our guides who are Ecuadorian naturalists, conservation scientists, and academics.