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



Furman's Wild Semester: New Mexico and South Africa



(NOTE: These pages are being updated for the Fall 2013 program.

The fall 2013 Wild Semester will consist of four environmental biology courses taught in the wilds of two continents


NEW MEXICO: Conservation Biology, Field Zoology, and Ecology

Class arriving at Reed's PeakMountain lion, captured and collared!

The wild semester involves three courses that are taught in the wilds of New Mexico, U.S.A, on the spectacular Ladder Ranch. The Ladder Ranch is a 155,550-acre property with great wildlife diversity, having a breathtaking mix of ecosystems ranging from desert grasslands to pine forests in the foothills of the Black Range (Gila National Forest). Several streams intersect the ranch and provide rich riparian areas for an array of wildlife. Throughout the course, we will live in the rustic, historic ghost town of Hermosa, nestled in the mountains. Accomodations are dormitory-style; electricity is provided by solar power and there is no phone service (a satellite phone and two-way radios are on hand for emergencies). On average, we make weekly trips into town for groceries and cell phone service, often en route to a field trip. Courses will generally consist of daily lectures in a classroom setting, with numerous guest lectures, particularly from state and federal agencies offering their invaluable perspectives for Conservation Biology. Lectures are greatly supplemented with ample labs and field trips throughout NM and southeastern Arizona. You must come with an adventurous spirit, unquenchable curiosity, great enthusiasm, and an absolute passion for nature. Please email me if you want more information about this unforgettable experience and/or if you have any questions.

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SOUTH AFRICA: An intense, three week, hands-on, field course - African Ecology

Bull elephant in Kruger National ParkTwo cheetah brothers at Mountain Zebra National Park

African Ecology is an INTENSE field course taught in the bush of South Africa. The course demonstrates the fundamental principles of ecology within the context of the South African environment. Students will be exposed to a variety of habitats and vegetation types, such as thorn scrub, succulent thicket, and coastal fynbos, one of the rarest vegetation types in the world. Students will have the opportunity to observe and study a diversity of African wildlife, including the African megafauna (!): elephant, hippo, rhino, buffalo, and lion. Field demonstrations will compliment topics covered in lectures. The emphasis of this course is to give students hands-on experience conducting field research with both plants and animals. South African social and political history is critical to understanding the current state of the natural environment as well as the pressing conservation concerns that we will see. "Mandela: The Authorized Biography" and "The Myth of Wild Africa" are required reading for the class. We will interact daily with locals across socio-economic and political spectrums and hear their uniquely informed perspectives on the state of the African environment and conservation. For more information on the South African portion of the program follow the African Ecology link


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