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Field Course in Neotropical Herpetology

July 15 @ 8:00 am - August 10 @ 5:00 pm

This course will emphasize the ecology, behavior, biogeography and systematics of the amazingly diverse Neotropical herpetofauna. The material covered is equivalent to a university upper-level course in herpetology. The course is divided into three parts. During the first few days students will become familiar with the many ecosystems found in our area and with the trail systems during “orientation” walks. The bulk of the first 10 days will be spent learning field techniques, working with collections and carrying out various group projects or exercises (see below). Midway through the course the entire station community will take a field trip to the cloud forests of Boquete (see details below). On returning to the field station, students work on their individual research projects and continue to receive lectures or other activities in the evening.

COURSE LOCATION: Bocas del Toro Biological Station, Boca del Drago, Isla Colon, Republic of Panama. The biological station is located on a hill facing Almirante Bay and Volcan Baru on the mainland.  Coral reef and lowland tropical rainforest ecosystems are immediately accessible from the field station.  This juxtaposition of the two most biologically-diverse ecosystems along with Panama’s rich cultural diversity provides tremendous opportunities for education and research.  See http://www.itec-edu.org for details.

INSTRUCTOR: Peter N. Lahanas, Ph.D., Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation and Northeastern University.  Phones: 352-367-9128 (Gainesville, FL), Phone/WhatsApp: +1507-3658-2134 (ITEC field station, Panama), Email: lahanas@itec-edu.org, peterlahanas@gmail.com. Course website: http://itec-edu.org/tropical-herpetology/,  Specialty: Neotropical herpetology, forest ecology, animal behavior, biogeography, molecular genetics of sea turtles.

COURSE LENGTH: ITEC Summer field courses are about four weeks in length. The NEH C-24 will run from July 15 through Aug 10, 2024.

TUITION: $2500 USD. Tuition fee includes all lodgings, meals and airport transfers in Bocas del Toro. The tuition also covers transportation and lodging during the three-day cloud forest field trip on the mainland to the town of Boquete. Payments to ITEC should be made through ITEC PayPal using itec1@itec-edu.org.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: June 15, 2024. The course is limited to 10 students and applications will be evaluated as they arrive. Applications can be found at http://www.itec-edu.org/application.pdf. If you believe that your application may arrive late, notify ITEC.


July 15 @ 8:00 am
August 10 @ 5:00 pm