Nov 30, 2021  
University Catalog 2021-2022 
University Catalog 2021-2022
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ESF-5350: Tropical Ecology & Cons Sci: Costa Rica

This course offers an in depth exploration of the landscape of development, conservation, agriculture, and sustainability challenges of Costa Rica. Costa Rica, a small Central American country that has enjoyed relative political and economic stability, is an exception to the pattern that has typified much of Central America, in part due to a commitment to democracy and social equity, and the relative strength of the rural middle class. These factors have led to a strong history of conservation which we will explore in this course by immersing students in the ecological and socio-economic landscape, including protected areas, agricultural systems, and ecotourism. Costa Rica has adopted a mix of economic and regulatory policies to protect its forests, and has been a pioneer in the application of Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) schemes. Costa Rica is also a prime location to explore climate change and adaptation strategies. We will compare and contrast the ecological dynamics of four distinct ecosystems - cloud forest in the Cordillera de Tilaran near Monteverde, rainforest on the Atlantic slope near San Gerardo, dry tropical forest along the coast, and a coastal mangrove system. In each area we’ll explore the socio-economic dynamics, including human impacts on the landscape, eco-tourism projects, restoration approaches, and hear from local farmers, scientists, conservationists, educators, and community members concerning conservation initiatives aimed at sustaining these important ecosystems. Students will have an opportunity to develop small group or independent research projects
Min. Credits: 3.0
Credit Basis: Semester credit
Location(s): Antioch Univ New England
Method(s): Field Study,Classroom
Faculty Consent Required: N
Program Approval Required: N
Course Type Environmental Studies and Sustainability

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