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Synopsis:

This course will provide students with an introduction to neotropical field ecology and conservation of northwestern Argentina spanning an area that encompasses chacoan thornscrub, humid and riparian forests (as well as rivers, marshes and coastal aquatic habitats), grasslands, deserts and high altitude scrublands). Seminars, class discussions, guest lecturers, and field exercises will provide overviews of the geological and natural history of Argentine biota, an introduction to phytogeography of the regions, techniques for assessment of biological diversity, and conservation issues in the Neotropics generally and Argentina specifically. We will visit at multiple sites spanning different life zones, as our schedule permits. These field sites will serve as geographic foci for group research projects designed in consultation with the instructors. In addition class fieldwork and guest lectures will provide introductions to some of the typical, rare and endemic flora and fauna of the region.

Calilegua

Calilegua National Park

Calchaqui

Valle Calchaqui

chingolo

Rufous-collared sparrow

forg

Eleutherodactylus discoidalis

Instructors: Dr. Stephen Lougheed, Dr. Yuxiang Wang (Queen's Univ.), Dr. Pablo Tubaro & Dr. Dario Lijtmaer (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales "Bernardino Rivadavia"), and Dr. Marcos Vaira (National University of Jujuy).

Dates: approximately 13 February - 28 March 2010 (approx. 2 weeks).

Locations: Tucuman (Tafi del Valle), Salta (Cafayate), and Jujuy (Lozano, Abra Pampa)

Cost: approximately $2800 - $2900 (includes airfare; this price will vary with fluctuations in the Canadian dollar and will depend upon prices negotiated).

Admission: If number of application exceeds available space, admission will be allocated according to the following priorities: 1) Credit over non-credit, 2) Graduate over undergraduate, 3) Year in program, 4) Order of application.

Enrollment: 20 Canadian students + 4 Argentine participants

Assignments:
(a) pre-trip seminars based on selected topics; to be presented in late January & early February 2010.
(b) field notebook recording field observations, results etc.
(c) seminar relating results from your group projects.
(d) participation including aski questions during class discussions and peer seminars, and involvement in group activities.
(e) written report (10-12 pages) based on group projects - to be submitted one month after the date of our return.

Evaluation:

Pre-trip Seminar 30%
Field book 20%
Group project presentations 5%
Participation (field activities, class discussions) 10%
Essay 35%