Field Biology Quarter

FBQ Winter 2015 news

Winter 2015 FBQ announced

Lowland Caribbean Rainforest, Nicaragua

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 2015, the “field” will be Refugio Bartola, a premier tropical rainforest site in southeastern Nicaragua. Refugio Bartola is contiguous with Reserva Indio-Maíz, the largest uncut tract of rainforest remaining in Central America (264,000 hectares). It is home to jaguars, sloths, tapirs, three species of monkeys, dozens of species of fishes, amphibians and reptiles, over 400 species of birds, and untold invertebrate diversity.

Winter 2015 FBQ Courses and Instructors:
EE Biol 132 – Field Behavioral Ecology (8 units) – Dr. Greg Grether
EE Biol 151B – Field Tropical 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 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 Biology 100, or an equivalent course in animal ecology and behavior, and the consent of the instructors. 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), 122 (Ecology), 120 (Evolution), 116 (Conservation Biology), 114 (Ornithology), 113 (Herpetology), 112 (Ichthyology), 115 (Mammology). EE Biol 129 and 116 are the most directly relevant to the Winter 2015 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 cost of the Winter 2015 trip remains to be determined (less than $2,000 and probably closer to $1,500). In addition, 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 for the Winter 2015 FBQ, a non-refundable deposit will be due after the interview process is complete.

Application Process: Applications for the Winter 2015 FBQ will be available both online and in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) Undergrad Office (101 Hershey) around Monday, March 24th, 2014. For selected applicants, interviews with the instructors will be arranged through the EEB Undergrad Office and you will receive notification one to two weeks after the application deadline.

DEADLINE: Three (3) application packets must be submitted to the EEB Undergraduate Office (101 Hershey) by 4PM Wednesday April 30th, 2014 (Week 5). (Each packet should have a copy of the application stapled on top of a copy of your DPR/DAR.)