ARCHIVE - Rainforest Research

Rainforest Research

Spring Quarter, 2004

Faculty: John T. (Jack) Longino

What is this program is about? The purpose of this program is to allow advanced science students to carry out independent research in tropical biology. The program is a logical successor to the temperate and tropical rainforests programs. Proposals for projects will have been developed during the earlier rainforests programs, or through direct consultation with faculty. It is expected that projects will involve extensive field work in tropical biology, and be based in Costa Rica.

What will you do in this program? After consultation with me, you will choose your own study site and project. Examples of potential study sites are national parks, La Selva Biological Station or other OTS field sites, or the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Living conditions and costs vary across these sites, and you will be responsible for investigating the best options for you.

The main constraint on your choice of study site will be access to computers and internet connections. The program requires weekly progress reports to be submitted to me by email, and there will be due dates for a series of drafts of your research report. Your internet connection should be good enough to allow you to send and receive attached files.

I will visit Costa Rica twice. During these visits there will be required meetings at the La Selva Biological Station. The first visit will be during week 2 of the quarter, when you will give an interim report on the progress of your project, consult with me and other students, and fine-tune your project. The second visit will be during week 10, during which you will finalize data analysis, write a final report, and present your results in a symposium. This will be followed by evaluation conferences. During the portions of the program when I am in Olympia, I will be regularly available on weekdays for consultation via email and telephone.

Schedule of first meeting:
Sunday, 4 April: Longino flies to Costa Rica, goes directly to La Selva, arriving late in the evening.
Monday, 5 April: Students arrive, check-in.
Tuesday, 6 April, 7:30am: all-day work session with class.
Wednesday, 7 April, 7:30am: all-day work session with class.
Thursday, 8 April, 7:30am: all-day work session with class.
Friday, 9 April, 7:30am: half-day work session. After lunch students may depart.
April 10-21: Longino at La Selva and vicinity.
Wednesday, 21 April: Longino returns to Olympia.

Schedule of second meeting:
Sunday, 30 May: Longino flies to Costa Rica, goes directly to La Selva, arriving late in the evening.
Monday, 31 May: Students arrive, check-in.
Tuesday, 1 June: Independent work, consultation.
Wednesday, 2 June: Independent work, consultation.
Thursday, 3 June: Independent work, consultation.
Friday, 4 June, 7:30am: Symposium, oral presentations.
Saturday, 5 June: Evaluation conferences. Students may depart after conference.

Due Dates:
Friday, 2 April: Progress report.
Friday, 23 April: Progress report.
Friday, 30 April: Progress report. Draft of Introduction and Methods.
Friday, 7 May: Progress report.
Friday, 14 May: Progress report. Draft of Introduction and Methods.
Friday, 21 May: Progress report.
Friday, 28 May: Progress report. Draft of final paper.
Thursday, 3 June, 11:30am: Final paper due (note that final paper is due before the symposium).

How much will this program cost? There is one fixed cost that everyone must pay, and that is the daily station fee for La Selva. The daily rate is $34, which covers room, board, access to library, internet, desk space, trails. There will be a minimum of 9 days total at La Selva, and you must pay your own bill as you leave. So you will need $136 for the week-2 session and $170 for the week-10 session. If you are a long-term researcher at La Selva, staying 30 contiguous days or more, the rate is $24/day. Otherwise you will be on your own, and will need to plan for your day to day living expenses. These will depend on where you plan to carry out your research. Expenses could range from $20 to $40 per day.

What is the credit distribution? 16 units of upper division science credit: Independent Research in Tropical Biology.

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John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.

Last modified: 19 February 2004.