About the Field Biology Quarter

Field Biology Quarter (FBQ) is a unique capstone experience that has a profound effect on our student's lives. It enhances their future career success, and affects them on a deeply personal level.

During FBQ our students spend a full quarter conducting field research. Courses are taught both locally, in the deserts, mountains and coastal areas of California, and internationally, including the savannas of Africa, rainforests of Ecuador, and coral reefs of Australia. International courses are especially transformative for students, many of whom have never been immersed in a foreign culture, or exposed to the tremendous diversity of a tropical rainforest. The experiences these students carry away from these courses profoundly affect how they view the world, its people, and its fragile biota.

FBQ is unlike any other course the students have ever taken: it is an intense bout of learning that introduces students to the excitement of field-based research. Our professors strive to create an atmosphere in which students can learn to collaborate, help each other negotiate the challenges of research, and share in each other's successes. Small classes of 15 or less allow for very personalized attention.

FBQ has been an essential part of our student's education since the 1970's. The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology subsidizes the course as much as possible so that students pay only a fraction of the costs.

It would be a tremendous loss if the FBQ program became extinct. I learned more in one month in the field than semesters filled with lectures and textbooks. Its one thing to read about the principles of evolution; its an entirely different thing to see evolution principles play out before your eyes in the wild. The FBQ is a rite of passage for the EEB student, challenging them with the rigors of field research, but at the same time reinforcing what we love about biology. It was the best part of my education at UCLA

Timothy Tawa, Ecuador FBQ