led by Dave Barrington (email@example.com)
1. to compare the diversity of flowering plants and ferns in a diversity of tropical American forest types to be encountered in Costa Rica, including as many moisture and temperature regimes as possible.
2. to appreciate the relationship between the Costa Rican people and their landscape.
The basic attack is to study tropical flowering plant
diversity as it relates to variety of forest types in
Costa Rica. Our activity in each of the forests will be as
follows. We will survey the forest for flowering-plant and
fern diversity, assembling a list of plants to the genus
level. We will dissect flowers and fruits on site as
possible; in addition I will try to build a sense of the
field recognition characters useful for identifying
tropical plants. We emphasize field recognition of
flowering-plant families, because this training is
transportable to any other tropical forest in the
world. Many students choose to collect small
fragments for reference: these are taped into a looseleaf
notebook (particularly artistic types simply draw the
plants). Digital photographs have become a major
tool in learning the overwhelming diversity in these
forests. We may also do short-term group
research projects at some sites.
(Cited forest types are those of the Holdridge Life Zone System.)
Cerro de la Muerte: high montane rain páramo and high montane wet forest dominated by oak species - mixture of Andean and Cordilleran Western North American elements - many familiar genera. Simple lodging in a roadside restaurant and rooming house.
premontane and lower montane wet forest and rain forest
(the classic cloud forest of the media) rich in exotic
species of all types, dominated by figs, avocados, etc.
Lodging and meals at a rooming house at the entrance to
the cloud forest reserve.
Osa (Corcovado): tropical rain forest with Amazonian affinities - including legumes, brazilnut family, Bombacaceae etc etc - hike into the national park along the beach with a guide and camp on the beach, explore the forest from the beach.
Rosa (Guanacaste): tropical (=sea-level) moist
forest dominated by legume trees, Sapindales, etc;
evergreen but seasonally very dry (some trees are
deciduous). At the coast itself there are small tracts of
true tropical dry forest, mangrove associations, seabeach
flora, and other coastal plant associations. Camping at a
national park with running water and cold showers.
We also visit Volcán
Irazú National Park to see the geological
infrastructure of the country at the same time we get
another chance at high oak forest and páramo vegetation.
Overall cost estimate is $1000 in country, all expenses included. Airfare is extra. The $1000 includes your share of the van in Costa Rica, room and board. It does not include the cost of gifts and the like. Some financial support may be available, not likely.
ACC is accommodations: abbreviations are Casa (Casa Ridgway); Geor (La Georgina, Villa Mills); Bkpkr (Backpackers Pensión, Puerto Jiménez); Leon (campground at Las Leones entrance to Corcovado National Park); MV (dormitory with kitchen at entrance to reserve); R (campgound in Guanacaste-Santa Rosa National Park)
Credit:You may sign up for Plant Biology 232 for one credit (either this fall or next spring) for this experience if you like. You must have my permission to go on the trip to register for the course.
|Meetings: those who
are able (that is at UVM) will meet several times before the
trip to go over the science and logistics of the experience.
must arrange your own air transportation to and from Costa
Rica -- do this AS EARLY AS
POSSIBLE. I will make
arrangements so that once you arrive in the country, your
rendezvous with the group is easy. You will be responsible
for seeking your own health advice for the trip, but will
find comfort in knowing that we have had no major health
problem in 16 previous trips. Costa Rica remains one
of the safest places to travel, and we are expert in
reducing what risks there are. Your personal equipment will
need to be compact but not spartan, no backpacking with all
equipment required but expect walking with a fairly good
load for a mile.
What to do if you want to go:
You should have taken Plant Biology 109 (offered both summer or fall) or an equivalent introductory plant systematics course to go (dendrology is also adequate preparation). Ask to be put on my list of participants at any time (email, firstname.lastname@example.org), first come first serve with certain restrictions. These are - first priority goes to anyone who has taken Plant Biology 241 (next offered, fall of 2016), then UVM undergraduates, then UVM graduate students. Others encouraged to inquire, especially from other universities. Two to three spaces reserved for others who will add to the trip experience. Total group size is usually about 14.