The OTS online auction will open at 8:00 EST, February 22, 2010!
We will continue to accept items until February 18, 2010. The auction will coincide with our Annual Meeting in Costa Rica. Featured ItemWhale Watching & Sunset Cruise For 10
Bring nine of your closest friends for a 4 hour cruise along the South Pacific of Costa Rica observing whales and dolphins as they jump and play in their natural environment. Pacific Quest, a 110′ catamaran based in Dominical, allows you to sit back and relax on the open, upper observation deck with a tropical drink from the bar as the on-board naturalist answers your questions.
More information about our tour is available at http://costaricawhalewatching.com/ Advance reservation is required for groups of 10 or more. Maximum capacity is 100 passengers, plus crew.
Humpback Whales are in Costa Rican waters from January through March and July through December. Other species of cetations are seen year round. Pacific Quest is a member of the Responsible Whale Watch Operators Association.
As a non-profit organization, all auction donations are considered tax-deductible according to applicable US tax laws. If you have an item you are considering donating to the auction, please contact Cathleen Lemoine at OTS, 919-684-6969 919-684-6969 , or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tropical Biology Applications Due March 1
Program in Costa Rica (BIO 134L), Summer
Summer 2010: June 14 – July 13
Biology 134L Field Tropical Biologyoffers students the exciting opportunity to study first-hand the evolutionary ecology of important plant and animal taxa in tropical ecosystems. Course design emphasizes intensive field work and visits all three OTS field stations as well as other sites. Students are thus introduced to a great diversity of tropical habitats, each possessing distinctive biotas that in turn demonstrate unique evolutionary histories and ecological dynamics. As part of the course, students work closely with resident professors in the design, implementation, and interpretation of their own independent research project in field ecology. Independent projects allow students to learn science by doing science in a beautiful and challenging tropical setting. Results are presented orally following the protocol of a scientific meeting. Students also submit a formal research report which becomes part of the permanent records of OTS field stations.
The course concludes with a short unit on conservation biology, including the application of island biogeography to reserve design and management, as well as the impact of deforestation and fragmentation.
Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive one course credit from Duke University.
Tropical Butterfly Ecology May 14 – 28, 2010
Application Deadline: February 16, 2010 for priority admission, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.
A two-week immersion course for graduate students engaged in or planning field research on tropical Lepidoptera. The course draws upon the coordinator’s expertise and 30+ years of work on butterfly ecology and evolution in Central and South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, China, Borneo and Australia. Based at La Selva in Costa Rica, topics will include field methods, ecology and evolution of butterfly-ant symbioses, behavioral ecology, mimicry, ecological physiology, quantitative natural history and future directions in this field.
Phil DeVries, University of New Orleans,
Bruce Walsh, University of Arizona,
Isidro Chacón, Museo Nacional de Costa Rica & INBIO
Tropical Plant Systematics June 10 – July 13, 2010
Application Deadline: February 15, 2010 for priority admission, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.
Offered in even-numbered years, this course emphasizes a strong conceptual foundation in phylogenetic systematics in an intensive field setting. The course travels to diverse habitats around Costa Rica, from cloud forest and paramo to tropical dry forest and Atlantic lowland rain forest. This course is next offered in 2010 followed by another edition in 2012 as it alternates with OTS-18, the Spanish language version of the
course which is offered in odd years. OTS member students have
priority for admission; however students from non-member institutions
are welcome to apply. Details Application form (119kb)
Biodiversity of True Bugs (Heteroptera)August 8-22 2010 Application Deadline:March 10, 2010 for priority admission, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.
This two week course is oriented towards graduate students and post doctoral fellows interested in intense field training in the collection, identification and inquiry-based research on the Heteroptera or True Bugs, which are well represented in the highly diverse tropics. Field collection, lab identification, and hands-on research experience on Heteroptera will be complemented by a lecture series on their natural history and classification. This program will enhance participants’ abilities to work on the ecology and systematics of this megadiverse group that includes important disease vectors, crop pests, and natural enemies. The course will take place in wet forest habitat at the La Selva Biological Station, including if possible sections of the Barva transect, as well as in the dry forest habitat and wetlands surrounding the Palo Verde Biological Station.
Dr. Christiane Weirauch, University of California, Riverside,
Dr. Randall t. Schuh, American Museum of Natural History, New York Details (216 kb) Application form (135 kb)
Expanding the Frontier in Tropical Ecology through Embedded SensorsAugust 16-31, 2010 Application deadline March 15, 2010
With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Organization for Tropical Studies will conduct a conduct a Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) to introduce tropical ecologists from the Americas to recent developments in embedded sensor networks.
Embedded Sensor Networks offer a powerful combination of distributed sensing capacity and open possibilities for countless applications in ecological research. The frontiers of ecology expand as biologists think of new applications and engineers develop the necessary tools to increase our understanding of how ecological systems work.
Upcoming BioCursos Trip: Panamá-Chiriquí Highlands and
Barro Colorado Island in the Panamá Canal March 1 – 5, 2010
OTS is offering an exclusive tour for birding enthusiasts into Western Panama and the Smithsonian’s Barrio Colorado Island research station on the Panama Canal. Organized through the OTS BioCursos program, which provide adult education packages in Costa Costa, this one-week trip starts shortly after the OTS annual meetings to be held this year in southern Costa Rica at Las Cruces and the Wilson Botanical Garden.
Birding will be the theme of the day
as the group travels across the border and down into Panama. Bird enthusiasts, plant lovers, hummingbird and butterfly aficionados — whether you are a part of the OTS boards or part of the friends, alumni or research community — are welcome to join us. Everyone will be thrilled to discover the spectacular biodiversity of the region! Please see our link for additional information. Do know, we will be happy to work with you in making your travel arrangements to Costa Rica and Panama. Full Description
The Palo Verde Station is currently in its third year of a grant for International Research Experiences for Students, sponsored by NSF. Graduate students in the early stages of their careers have been selected on a competitive basis from educational institutions throughout the United States. Once selected, they spend 10 weeks working with OTS scientists on research projects in tropical biology, such as wetlands restoration, flood control, water usage, and reducing negative agricultural impacts on the region.
Jennifer Bufford (University of Hawai’i Mānoa, top), an IRES (International Research Experiences for Students) participant, and assistant Poling Chan (Knox College, bottom) are measuring the species richness of three different aquatic plant communities, which correspond to different management (fangueo) regimes in the Palo Verde marsh. Jennifer is also monitoring bird use of these habitats and will examine the seed bank and regeneration in the field. The IRES program provides a unique opportunity for graduate students to develop research at Palo Verde. So far, 12 young researchers have participated in this program.
This IRES project allows OTS to offer an international, collaborative research opportunity to U.S. students at a point in their education when such international mentorship and professional relationships can have the greatest impact on the selection of research questions, research design, study systems, and study locations. The work with local farmers, technicians, and extension agents has a dramatic impact on the entire local community as well as on a wider audience.