ENV 717b () / 2024-2025

Tropical Field Ecology

Credits: 3

Spring 2025: Time and location TBA

mandatory field trip to Ecuador over Spring Break. This is a no drop course, students cannot drop or withdraw from course after committment is made.
Please find below a course description for Tropical Field Ecology (ENV 717b) for the Spring 2025 semester. The course involves a mandatory field trip to Ecuador over spring break (tentative dates: TBD. In the spring semester, we will meet once per week TBD. Because the appropriate logistics and arrangements must be secured several months in advance, enrollment must be finalized by the end of December.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE: If you are interested in taking the course, please read the description below and email Dr. Simon Queenborough (simon.queenborough@yale.edu) with the following information by 5PM, DECEMBER TBD:
  1. Name
  2. Degree program and expected graduation date
  3. List of previous relevant coursework
  4. A brief explanation of why you want to take the course and how it would further your academic and career goals (200 words max)
Course expenses (including airfare, local transportation, meals, lodging, fees, etc.) for YSE students will be covered by the YSE field trip fund. Students from outside of YSE and Yale College must seek alternative funding. Interested YSE and Yale College students should apply regardless of financial situation, and we will work with selected students individually to ensure participation is possible.
SELECTION PROCEDURE:For logistical and financial reasons, enrollment is limited. Top priority will be given to students for whom the course will clearly advance their academic/career goals (i.e., students planning to conduct ecological field research and/or focus on tropical ecosystems in their careers). Some previous coursework in ecology is required, but ENV 752 Ecology & Conservation of Tropical Forests is not a prerequisite this year (we will provide some of this content during pre-trip lectures).
You must be available for the entire length of the field trip (no arriving late or leaving early to attend other spring break field courses or for other personal/academic/work commitments).

Do not apply if you think you cannot commit to all aspects of the class.
ENV 717b, Tropical Field Ecology | 3 credits | Time: TBD | enrollment capped at 12

This course is designed to give students firsthand knowledge of tropical biology and the issues surrounding conservation of biodiversity in the tropics, through a combination of seminar-style discussions and a mandatory 12-day field trip over spring break. The emphasis is on active learning and developing independent research projects carried out during the field trip. Using a case-study approach, topics covered include patterns of biodiversity, tropical forest dynamics, reforestation, species interactions and coevolution, climate change impacts, ecosystem services, and human land use. Students also gain experience with study design, data collection methods, and statistical analysis.
We will visit Ecuador, a country famous for its high biological, cultural, and economic diversity. We visit a variety of forest ecosystems and hear from local and international scientists about current research in the field. Students undertake two short research projects and also learn basic identification and natural history of tropical plant, bird, and insect species. Students should expect to live in shared accommodation and spend a major part of each day outside in the natural tropical environment under adverse conditions. Enrollment is limited and course applications will be due in the Fall semester. Priority will be given to students planning to conduct field research in the tropics. Prerequisite: ENV752 Ecology & Conservation of Tropical Forests.
Limited to 15