Every summer, I teach field courses in Costa Rica. Students can apply for enrollment through Santa Clara's study abroad program here. Each student receives ten units (2 courses) of undergraduate upper-division credit. The courses are:
ANTH 197: Field Course: Primate Behavior
In this course we emphasize on-site field research with practical experience in the basic techniques of observation and field data analysis. Lectures emphasize core theoretical concepts in primatology, animal behavior, and community ecology with examples from field studies of New World primates. Each student conducts independent data collection to produce a completed scientific paper where they are the sole author. SCU: meets Science, Technology, and Society, STS pathway, and Biological Emphasis in Anthropology requirements.
ENVS 141/BIOL 157 : Environmental Biology in the Tropics. This summer course examines tropical biology and ecology and their relationship to issues of sustainable development. The course includes 1.5 weeks of instruction at SCU and 3.5 weeks of field study in Costa Rica. Particular emphasis on tropical ecology, community ecology, reforestation and restoration ecology, sustainable agriculture and fair trade, and ecotourism. Taught in conjunction with ANTH 197. Enrollment by application via International Programs. Also listed as BIOL 157. Prerequisite: BIOL 23 (if enrolled in BIOL 157), ENVS 21, ANTH 1, or permission from the instructor. SCU: Meets Natural Science, Sustainability pathway, Biology, ENVS requirements.
Each summer, the course takes place during SCU's second summer session (~July 29-September 1). The first week is lectures and preparation on the Santa Clara campus. We then travel to La Suerte Biological Field Station in Costa Rica on August 4, returning September 1. Each student proposes and completes an independent research project on any aspect of rain forest ecology.
All field course students and research assistants must review and sign a sexual misconduct contract and a sustainability contract.
SCU Student Projects in Past Courses (Links provided on alumni current activities where available-update me!)
Abriel, Will (Major: Anthropology, 2013): Positional behavior in Atelines.
Barnett, Tinah (Major: Anthropology, 2008): Black-handed spiders: positional behavior, body mass, and tails.
Bates, Daniel (Major: Engineering, 2008): Edible and medicinal plant use in the premontane wet forest of Primavera, Costa Rica.
Bohner, Michelle (Major: Bioengineering, 2011): The trend between fungal diversity, density, and forest development.
Bradley, Kate (major: Environmental Studies/Studio Art, 2010): Predator-sensitive foraging in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) based on DBH and canopy cover.
Brodoff, Micha (major: Anthropology, 2012): Sex-based differences in foraging behavior in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus).
Cleeton, Kalea (Major: Environmental Science, 2013): Foraging strategies and seed dispersal of Cebus capucinus in a Costa Rican tropical forest.
Cooke, Michael (Major: Management, 2014): Mantled howler (Alouatta palliata) foraging ecology and conservation strategy.
Cossentine, Heidi (Biology, 2012): Insight into primate aboreality and evolution through the comparison of arboreal and ground squirrels.
DiCicco, Arianna (Major: Environmental Studies, 2013): Feeding, foraging behavior and seed dispersal in Alouatta palliata.
Fanucchi, Elisa (Biology, 2012): Observed effects of coloration, territory, and reproduction in sympatric species of Dendrobates auratus and Oophaga pumilio.
Fearey, Jack (Major: Environmental Science, 2012): Patterns in social behavior in Cebus capucinus during feeding.
Ferron, Kelly (Major: Environmental Science, 2010): Focal fecal follow of fascinating feces: the fundamental function of primate frugivores in the rainforest.
Flint, Kellie (Major: Philosophy/Studio Art, 2008): Why do howlers howl? Vocalizations of Mantled Howler Monkeys (Alouatta palliata) at La Suerte, Costa Rica.
Forte, Joseph (major: Combined Science, 2012): Effects of vegetative diversity and habitat disturbance on ant species diversity and soldier usage during Eciton burchellii and Atta cepahlotes foraging.
Gaspar, Carmela (Major: Environmental Studies and Political Science, 2014):Exploring the howls of Alouatta palliata.
Gate, Gregory (Major: Biochemistry, 2014): Examining butterfly populations in undisturbed and degraded ecosystems.
Hagerty, Christina (Major: Environmental Science, 2010): Leafcutter ants: a systematic and observational study of pheremone usage.
Herrera, Kiara (Major: Environmental Studies, 2012): Social behavior and relationship dynamics in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus).
Hiatt, Audrey (Major: Anthropology, 2015): Sequences of locomotor modes and substrate use in Ateles geoffroyi.
Hoek, Shelby (Major: Anthropology/Biology, 2013): Foraging behavior and selectivity in wild mantled howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata).
Igeta, Amanda (Major: Biology/Economics): Seed dispersal in a tropical premontane wet forest: what are secondary dispersers of seeds defecated by Alouatta palliata and Cebus capucinus?
Jacobs, Katy (Major: Anthropology/ Environmental Studies, 2015): Positional behavior of Ateles geoffroyi: insight into extended juvenescence.
Kassel, Natalie (Major: Environmental Studies/Anthropology, 2013): Social interactions and behaviors of Cebus capucinus (white-faced capuchin monkeys).
Kilsby, Dana (Major: Environmental Science, 2015): The effect of human-altered landscapes on local bird patterns and behavior.
King, Megan (Major: Environmental Studies/ Political Science, 2012): Soil nutrients and their correlations to fine root biomass and above-ground biomass.
Kirasich, Kaitlin (major: Bioengineering, 2014): Social interactions in Alouatta palliata (mantled howling monkeys).
Kurtz, Kristine (Major: Anthropology, 2014): Prehensile-tail use during foraging and positional behavior in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) at Estacion Biologica La Suerte in Costa Rica.
Lander, Laura (Major: Business Management, 2009): Aggressive behavior in white-faced Capuchins (Cebus capucinus).
Lum, Malia (Major: Computer Engineering and Web Design, 2015): Play in Alouatta palliata palliata.
Mathews, Dylan (major: Anthropology, Philosophy, 2015): A challenger appears: intraspecific conflict in Cebus capucinus at La Suerte Biological Station.
McGuire, Danica (Major: Anthropology, 2013): Explaining the vocal repertoire of Alouatta palliata, the mantled howling monkey.
McNamara, Allison (Major: Anthropology and Environmental Studies, 2015): Juvenile social behavior: how do white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) learn the social behaviors necessary for group living?
McNamara, Christopher (major: Anthropology, 2010): Monkeying around: play behavior in Cebus capucinus and Alouatta palliata.
McNamara, Tommy (Major: Psychology and Environmental Studies): The activity budget and diet of the Ateles geoffroyi at La Suerte, Costa Rica.
McPhee, Anna (Major: Anthropology, 2013): Travel between Discontinuous Canopies: Sexual Dimorphism in the Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata).
Melisi, Christopher (major: Environmental Studies, 2011): The effect of microhabitat type on dendrobatid populations (Dendrobates auratus, Dendrobates pumilio).
Meyer, Annika (major: Biology, 2010): Effects of frugivory by Alouatta palliata on various Costa Rican tropical rainforest plant species.
Morabito, Christian (Major: Environmental Studies, 2011): The ecological role of native and introduced palms (Arecaceae).
Moran, Kyla (Major: Anthropology/ Environmental Studies, 2012): Foraging in capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) and what they leave behind.
Moreno, Juliana (Major: Biology/ Environmental Studies, 2012): De je no se qua of vocal displays in Dendrobates pumilio.
Nova, Ian (Major: Bioengineering, 2012): Tree-fall gaps in a neotropical rainforest: affects on species distribution and soil quality.
O’Brien, Joseph (Major: ENVS, 2012): Varying vegetation types and the influence of chemical and physical factors.
Paikoff, Danny (Major, ENVS 2012): Tree falls!
Pettit, Libby (Major: Anthropology and Environmental Science, 2014): Social behavior in white-faced capuchins: focusing on the action of play.
Phillips, David (Major: Biology): Characteristics of Atta cephalotes (leaf-cutter ants) nest architecture and foraging trail traits. (not Lizards!)
Phillips, Elisa (Major: Biology. 2012): The effects of behavioral modifications on the extended juvenescence in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in a neotropical forest in Costa Rica.
Powell, Nicole (Major: Anthropology, 2013): Cebus capucinus social behavior: cooperation vs agonism.
Raymond, Robert (Major: Anthropology, 2009): Travel Routes and Spatial Memory in White-faced Capuchins (Cebus capucinus).
Reimer, Jessica (Major: Environmental Science, 2008): . The effects of the white-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus) on seed dispersal.
Rieke, Kristen ((Major: Studio Art, 2011): Seed dispersal in a neotropical lowland wet forest.
Rodriguez, Stephanie (Major: Business, 2011): Vigilance: Predator-sensitive foraging in Mantled Howling Monkeys (Alouatta palliata).
Ruiz, Brendan (Major: Anthropology, 2012): Diet and foraging strategies of juvenile Cebus capucinus and Alouatta palliata.
Salinas, Lily (Major: Sociology, 2010): Environmental education: promoting intergenerational learning.
Scileppi, Scott (Major: Accounting, 2014): Ranging patterns in the white-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus).
Sterling, Kristin (Major: Environmental Studies, 2010): Canopy density and animal interactions with the river.
Rochelle Stowe (Major: Environmental Studies, 2010): The ecological footprint of field stations.
Trefethen, Hailey (Major: Anthropology, 2008): Frequency and types of play in white-faced capuchin immatures.
Wallis, Marianne (Major: Biochemistry, 2010): A multifaceted look at pesticide use in Primavera, Limon, Costa Rica.
Owen Watson (Major: Environmental Studies, 2011): The intricacies and efficiency of foraging strategy of two carnivorous ant species.
Zipper, Carly (Major: Anthropology, 2013): An investigation into the complex foraging techniques of Cebus capucinus in a tropical wet forest in Costa Rica.