Foundations of Biology   -    Principles of Biology   -    General Ecology
Field Zoology   -    Natural Resource Management   -    Biodiesel Production

Foreign Study Courses:   African Ecology   -    Tropical Ecology
Field Studies   -    Andes and Galapagos

Furman's Wild Semester

Biology of the Andes and Galapagos

Bio 53

Biology 53 is taught in Ecuador and the Galapagos islands and is the companion course to Tropical Ecology.  As such it is also taught every other winter term (2004, 2006, ...) This course is multifaceted and has several specific objectives that reflect the diversity of the locations to which we will be traveling: the Andes, the Amazon basin, and the Galápagos Islands. The central objective is to gain an appreciation for tropical environments and the ecological and evolutionary forces that have shaped the flora and fauna. On the mainland of Ecuador, we will study the adaptations of plants and animals in a variety of environments, from high altitudes that are cold and relatively dry to lower regions with a hot and humid climate.  Contrasts will naturally be drawn with areas in Costa Rica. During the days that we are in the upper Amazon region, we will focus our attention on the relationships among economic development, preservation, and indigenous rights. Ecuador, like many tropical nations, is trying to balance environmental priorities with harsh economic realities. We will consider effective conflict resolution in this context and in particular the role of reliable ecological information. In the Galapagos, we will focus on evolutionary processes as we examine firsthand plant and animal adaptations to the Galapagos environment, species radiations, and the principles of island biogeography.

Cajas National Park, Ecuador, 2004 Espanola, Galapagos, 2004