Sunday: Arrive in Quito - University of Oklahoma

Syllabi Fincke/Wallis
Ecuador/Galapagos & Amazonia 2013
College of Arts and Sciences Summer Abroad Program
Department of Biology and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the
Environment (IPE)
University of Oklahoma, United States
in Partnership with the
University of San Francisco, Ecuador
University of Oklahoma Teaching Faculty:
Dr. Ola Fincke (Biology)
Dr. Janette Wallis (IPE)
[email protected]
[email protected]
Pre-requisites: Junior standing, 2.5 overall GPA, 6 hrs. science or
permission of instructors
Course Descriptions:
Teaching faculty: Ola Fincke (Biology)
BIO 4413 Tropical Ecology (counts as upper division lab for BIO majors)
Although the tropics represent about 7 % of the earth’s land mass, they harbor
an estimated 75% of the earth’s biodiversity. What accounts for such great
biodiversity? It was the organisms of the tropics, and in particular of the
Galapagos Islands and South American mainland, that stimulated Charles
Darwin’s revolutionary ideas on how organisms adapt to their environment and
how new species appear on earth. Starting with Darwin’s historical voyage and
contributions made by him and other naturalists in the New World tropics, we will
explore developments in tropical evolutionary ecology since Darwin. Topics
include forest structure and seasonality, biogeography, speciation, plant-animal
interactions, and mimicry complexes. Students will keep a journal, gain
experience in hypothesis testing and in using a number of behavioral field
techniques (e.g. focal sampling, mark-recapture, phenotypic manipulations) and
use of basic statistics. Working in small groups, students will design a study to
test a hypothesis during our stay at the Tiputini rainforest site. Teams will analyze
data and present their findings in a mini-conference on the last day in Quito.
Required texts (for use in both courses)
Kricher J.1997. A Neotropical Companion (paperback)
Weiner J. 1995. The beak of the finch: a story of evolution in our time.
Additional readings from the original literature
Recommended text: Jackson MH. 2009. Galapagos: a natural history.
A class copy will be available to students on the Galapagos
Syllabi Fincke/Wallis
Teaching Faculty: Janette Wallis (Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the
IPE 4970: Conservation Biology in the Neotropics (counts as an upper
division elective for BIO and IPE)
This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study, management,
and protection of biodiversity in the tropics, with special attention to the
Galapagos Islands and the Amazon rain forest. Students will explore the complex
relationships that exist between our own species and the flora and fauna of the
Neotropics. We will assess the many threats to Ecuador’s natural resources and
examine the benefits gained from conservation of the country’s biodiversity. Field
exercises will be conducted in the Galapagos and at the Tiputini Biodiversity
Station, one of the most bio-diverse spots on Earth. Of particular importance to
this course, the reserve boasts at least ten species of primates. The primates’
behavioral ecology and role in forest functioning will be studied, along with other
topics of wildlife conservation in the region. Problem-solving in group activities
and detailed assessment of case studies will introduce students to the difficult
task of finding solutions to habitat threats that can lead to wildlife conservation in
a manner that is also beneficial (or at least not harmful) to humans.
Both courses must be taken together. Lectures and field projects will be
integrated around major topics. A week of background lectures in Norman
will precede the Ecuador trip.
Classes in Norman will be from 13-17 May. We will depart for Ecuador 23 May,
returning to Norman 15 June. We will start activities in Quito on the campus of
the University of San Francisco in Quito, with a tour of the city followed by a day
trip to the picturesque village of Otavalo. We will then spend six days in the
Galapagos Islands, followed by eight days in the Amazonian rainforest at
Tiputini Biodiversity Station, with two days for analysis and presentation of class
projects in Quito before returning to the US.
Videos online:
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador:
Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador:
Syllabi Fincke/Wallis
(schedule template below will be similar on all days, using additional topics)
9:00-10:45: What and where are the tropics?
Historical overview (Darwin, Wallace)
10:45-11:00: Break
11:00-12:45: Biogeography and evolution in the tropics
12:45-2:00 Lunch
2:00-3:45: Group work I / Discussion of assigned readings
Climate and nutrient cycling
Forest structure and gap phase regeneration
Seasonal rhythms: flowering, fruiting, germination
Species diversity - I. Patterns
Species diversity - II Hypotheses
Tests of tropical community structure
Pollination systems and other mutualisms
Seed dispersal and seed predation
Herbivory - impact on plant defenses
Defense against predation
Friday 17 May : FOREST USE & CONSERVATION - Wallis
Value of tropical forests
Causes of tropical deforestation
Consequences of forest destruction
Forest fragmentation / conservation
Syllabi Fincke/Wallis
Wednesday 22 May – leave for Quito Ecuador (arrival in the evening)
All in country lectures/ group work, etc. will be divided between the two
instructors, according to areas of expertise; additional lectures, hikes will be led
by colleagues from USF, taking advantage of their areas of expertise.
Thursday 23 May – orientation tour of Quito/ evening discussions.
Friday 24 May – Class at USF Darwin in the Galapagos/ group work
Saturday 25 May: Travel to San Cristobal (Galapagos)
Sunday 26 May: Kicker Rock Trip (schedule below is example of how time will
be spent when not in the field in Galapagos)
2:00-3:45: Island biogeography/ Fauna of the Galapagos Islands
3:45-4:00: Break
4:00-5:45: Darwin’s finches
7:00-8:00: Student Seminar
Monday 27 May: El Junco/Galapaguera
2:00-3:45: 2:00-3:45: Birds of Galopagos
3:45-4:00 Break
4:00-5:45: Marine mammals
7:00-8:00 Student Seminar
Tuesday 28 May : La Loberia
Wednesday 29 May: Boat Tour begins
Thursday 30 May: Boat tour
Friday 31 May: Boat tour
Saturday : 1 June: Boat tour
Sunday, 2 June: Boat Tour ends/return to Quito
Syllabi Fincke/Wallis
Monday, 3 June: Class at USF
Tuesday 4 June: travel to Tiputini
Wednesday 5 June : Orientation walk / lecture: patterns of diversity
Thursday 6 June : Forest walk / asking questions/ hypothesis testing/ evening
Lecture: Seasonal patterns in Tiputini
Friday 7 June: Discussion of observations/ brain-storming for projects
Lecture: Primates of Tiputini
Saturday 8 June: Forest walk / group work / evening Discussion of readings
Sunday 9 June : Group work on projects/ group meetings/ Lecture: Humans as
part of tropical ecosystems
Monday 10 June : Group work on projects / Lecture: conservation issues at
Tiputini / evening Discussion
Tuesday 11 June : Group work on projects / guest lecture / evening Discussion
Wednesday 12 June : travel to Quito
Thursday 13 June: U. San Francisco campus - statistics for field biologists/
group work on projects
Friday 14 June : USF campus – Group work on presentations; evening
presentations and evaluations
Saturday 15 June : Return to US