FBQ exemplifies what it should mean to be an undergraduate at one of the nation's top research universities.
Robert Walsh, Ecuador FBQ
...the FBQ was a period of personal growth for me. For me, it was the first time in a tropical rainforest without the luxuries of technology or heated water. I faced a lot of fears: my fear of insects in particular, of getting dirty, and of the dark. I came back to the U.S. with a sense of accomplishment and confidence, knowing that I had seen things that many people would never see in their lifetime.
Menemsha Alloush Nicaragua FBQ
Winter 2021 FBQ - Peru
Instructors: Dr. Greg Grether, Dr. Debra Shier
Winter 2021 Field BIology Quarter (FBQ)
Applications may be found here: 21W FBQ Google Doc
The FIELD BIOLOGY QUARTER is a quarter-long, capstone program designed to give advanced undergraduates experience studying wild organisms in their natural environment. For most students, the FBQ is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that forever shapes how they view the biological world; for a few, it is the start of a rewarding career as a field biologist. Working in groups and individually, FBQ students design and carry out original research in the field, under the guidance of two instructors. Back on campus, students analyze their own data, review the relevant literature, write journal article-style reports, and give informal seminar presentations. Essentially, this is a crash course in the whole process of doing ecological field research.
In Winter 2021, the “field” will be the premier Amazonian rainforest site, Cocha Cashu Biological Station, in Manú National Park, Peru. Cocha Cashu was established in 1969 and has been under the management of the San Diego Zoo since 2011. The species list includes 15 species of monkeys, 17 mammalian carnivores, including 6 species of cats, over 500 species of birds, 82 species of amphibians, over 1000 species of plants, etc. In short, the site has incredible biological diversity. Cocha Cashu also has a well-designed but rustic infrastructure, with tent platforms, showers, dining facilities, library, water purification system, satellite-based communication system, etc. For more information on Concha Cashu, go to http://cochacashu.sandiegozooglobal.org/
Courses and Instructors:
EE Biol 132 – Field Behavioral Ecology (8 units) – Dr. Greg Grether
EE Biol 151B – Field Conservation Biology (8 units) – Dr. Debra Shier
The 16 upper division units of coursework fulfills the field quarter requirement for Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution (EBE) majors, 4 major courses for the Biology major, and fulfills 16 units of the Conservation Biology minor elective requirement. Qualified students in other majors and departments are welcome to apply.
Prerequisites and recommended courses: Prerequisites for the FBQ are Life Sciences 1, EE Biol 100, or an equivalent course in animal ecology and behavior. We also recommend that applicants take (1) one year of math and physics, (2) a course in statistics, and (3) one or more of following EE Biol courses: 129 (Animal Behavior); C126 (Behavioral Ecology); 122 (Ecology); 120 (Evolution); 116 (Conservation Biology); 114 (Ornithology); 113A/113AL (Herpetology; Herpetology Lab); 112 (Ichthyology); and 115 (Mammalogy). EE Biol C126, 129 and 116 are the most directly relevant courses for this FBQ.
Cost: Besides normal registration fees and tuition, there will be a mandatory student contribution to defray costs associated with the trip (travel, lodging, food, and supplies). The student contribution for of the Winter 2021 trip remains to be determined but is estimated at $2000. Scholarships are available for students with financial needs (inquire in the EEB Undergrad Office). All students are encouraged to apply.
Students will be expected to update their passports and immunizations, as needed, and to bring certain personal items along on the trip (suitable clothing, toiletries, compass, flashlight, etc.). If you are accepted, a non-refundable deposit of $500 will be due after the interview process is complete.
Application deadline and procedure: Applications will be accepted until Sunday, February 2, 2020. A subset of applicants will be invited for interviews during WEEK 7 of Winter Quarter 2020 (February 17-21, 2020). Enrollment is capped at 15 students.