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SUMMER FIELD COURSE in Primate Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation
Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation; coordination by the Center for Global Education at George Mason University
This is a 4-week, 6-credit, hands-on summer field program, held at the Los Amigos Biological Field Station or Centro de Investigación y Capacitación Río Los Amigos (CICRA), located in the Department of Madre de Dios, Peru, from June 17-July 14, 2014.
This course will provide students with an exposure to essential techniques in field methodology to conduct research on primates in the wild, in a tropical rainforest setting. It will also give an overview of current conservation issues and strategies for dealing with decreasing primate populations in the wild. This course will integrate lectures and field-based methods to accomplish the following goals:
•Interpret the behavior of living primates in relation to proximate or ultimate functions;
•Understand how ecology, behavior, and life history influence primate abundance, distribution, and population dynamics
•Recognize the role of primates within the ecosystem and the interconnected roles of primates with other species;
•Emphasize the conservation status of primates and their importance as flagship species; and
•Explore current conservation strategies and management strategies in protection of primates and their habitats.
The course involves lectures, field-based exercises in primatological methodology, and development of an independent research project while at the field site.
-This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students with a cumulative GPA of 2.25, including students who do not attend George Mason University. Non-students are welcome to apply, with space provided in priority to registered students.
-There are no course prerequisites, only a strong interest to learn more about primate ecology and conservation.
-Students are expected to be in adequate physical condition and able to hike and walk within a tropical rainforest on a daily basis.
-Participants must have a valid passport (that doesn’t expire within 6 months upon return to US)
-As this course is held in the Amazon rainforest, there are disease risks. There are no required vaccinations for travel to Peru, but there are some recommendations.
-Course has a maximum of 15 course participants
Tuition / Fees:
Course fee is: $4,607
-Tuition (6 credits)
-Emergency medical insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation
-First night lodging upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado (June 17)
-Round-trip transportation from Puerto Maldonado to field station
-Daily room and board at CICRA field station, including lodging in two-person dorm-style room, meals 3x/day, snacks, and access to internet.
-Instruction and training by an experienced faculty member
-Guest lectures by primate researchers conducting long-term research at the field station.
-Additional assistance and instruction provided by a knowledgeable teaching assistant
-Cultural immersion experience, lodging and meals in Lima on last day of course (July 14)
Fees not covered:
-Round-trip international airfare (U.S.—Lima, Peru)
-Round-trip in-country airfare (Lima—Puerto Maldonado)
-Expenses in Lima on first day (considered as pre-course)
-Required field equipment, including binoculars, field notebooks, digital watch, rubber boots, headlamp, etc. A full equipment list will be provided upon request.
Support (scholarships, travel):
Scholarships are available to George Mason students. George Mason students may also use financial aid to cover a program's cost. If you are not a George Mason university student check with your study abroad office or office of financial aid to learn more about how to cover the cost of your study abroad.
Start + End Dates:
June 17 – July 14, 2014
Deadline extended -- some spots remain!! Apply now!
-All students must sign liability waiver forms for the program and for the field station, and must adhere to all safety precautions, ethical behavior, environmental awareness, and alcohol and drug policy at the field site.
-This is a remote field station, only accessible by boat. Students must be prepared to adjust to life in the humid, wet tropics with basic accommodations.
-For questions concerning course requirements, syllabus, daily schedule, or required field equipment, contact the faculty instructor, Dr. Anneke DeLuycker at email@example.com.
-To apply or for more information, visit the website listed below:
703-993-3864, or 866.468.1243 (toll free)
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