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Š C. Ziegler

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Š C. Ziegler


The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a non-profit consortium that has grown to include 63 universities and research institutions from the United States, Latin America and Australia. In the early 1960's, scientists from U.S. universities forged working relationships with colleagues at the Universidad de Costa Rica in the interest of strengthening education and research in tropical biology. Intense interest both in the U.S. and Costa Rica led to the founding of OTS in 1963. OTS was founded to provide leadership in education, research and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics. To address this mission, OTS conducts graduate and undergraduate education, facilitates research, participates in tropical forest conservation, maintains three biological stations in Costa Rica and conducts environmental education programs.

Nothing can replace the hands-on experience of a field-based course in the tropics! This is what the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) offers through its broad range of Tropical Biology and Ecology graduate level courses in Spanish or English in Costa Rica. To be eligible for a course, an applicant must be fluent in the language in which the course is given. OTS graduate courses are open to students enrolled in graduate degree programs, with preference given to students at OTS Member Institutions. The graduate program now consists of two kinds of courses: (1) Tropical Biology and Plant Systematics Graduate Courses in tropical biology, tropical plant systematics, and related themes which are annual or biannual field courses lasting from 4 to 8 weeks. Participants are enrolled at the University of Costa Rica that provides transcripts for transfer of credits. Courses may be offered in English or Spanish. (2) Specialty Graduate Courses that will not be repeated every year, which are intensive short courses from a few days up to two or occasionally three weeks in length. Courses are taught by expert faculty on more specific and well-defined topics. Participants are enrolled at the University of Costa Rica that provides transcripts for transfer of credits. Courses may be offered in English or Spanish. Š J.J. Pucci

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Tropical Biology and Plant Systematics Graduate Courses An Introduction to Tropical Biology Tropical Biology: An Ecological Approach Tropical Plant Systematics Ecologia Tropical y Conservation Specialty Graduate Courses Ecology and Evolution of Arachnids Conservation Genetics Payment for Ecosystem Services: Putting Theory Into Practice Inquiry in Rainforests: an in-service program for teachers Monitoring Tropical Forest Dynamics in a Changing Climate Wildlife Monitoring using Camera Trapping and Occupancy Data Analysis

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An Introduction to Tropical Ecology 4 credits awarded by the University of Costa Rica An Introduction to Tropical Ecology is an intensive, four week course in field research and tropical ecology for 22 graduate students. This course uses the highly regarded OTS “field problems” approach, which focuses on the formulation of research questions, experimental design, data collection, analysis, and oral and written presentations, all significantly important for a successful research. This course also uses the opportunity to analyze biodiversity conservation issues in the tropics. All the skills will be strengthening through repetitive practice in tropical lowland forest, tropical dry forest, montane forest and the Costarrican páramo. Students should expect to: Do fieldwork using a vast array of tools (GIS, IPM, DNA barcoding, etc.), design and implement statistical analysis (R software). Analyze information and develop sustainable resource use and biodiversity conservation strategies. Winter session: 4 weeks December 29 – January 24 Application Deadline: September 30, 2013 © A. Santana

Detailed Announcement

Tropical Biology: An Ecological Approach 6 credits awarded by the University of Costa Rica Tropical Biology (Wet Season) is an intensive, six-week course in field research and tropical ecology for 22 graduate students. This classic OTS field course, also called the “Fundamentals Course,” has trained tropical biologists since the 1960s. At its heart lie the highly regarded OTS “field problems”, which engage students in the formulation of feasible research questions, experimental design, data collection, analysis, and oral and written presentations. Students shoudl expect: Ecological modeling using R. Conduct behavioral experiments (including digital video analysis), make use of sensor networks and canopy towers, GIS approaches for conservation, and land management and habitat restoration. emphasize skills for communicating science both to scientists and the general public in today’s media-based world. Production of a course podcast.

Summer Session: 6 weeks, June 10-July 21, 2014. Early application deadline: November 01, 2013. w w w . o ts .a c . c r

Final application deadline: February 03, 2014. Detailed Announcement © A. Santana

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© E. Libby

Tropical Plant Systematics 6 credits awarded by the University of Costa Rica 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 2012 (application deadline in March 1, 2012) as it alternates with OTS–18, the Spanish language version of the course which is offered in odd years. Early application deadline: November 10, 2013. Final application deadline: February 10, 2014 followed by Open Enrollment/rolling admission until course is full.

Duration: 5 weeks, June 11 July 13, 2014. Arrive June 10, depart July 14, 2014. Detailed Announcement

Ecologia Tropical y Conservacion 7 créditos otorgados por la Universidad de Costa Rica. Este curso, dictado en español, ofrece un riguroso entrenamiento en métodos de investigación de la ecología tropical e incluye una unidad de campo en biología de la conservación. Está dirigido principalmente a estudiantes y profesionales latinoamericanos, independientemente de su afiliación institucional; también se aceptan solicitudes de estudiantes con dominio del español de cualquier nacionalidad e institución. Becas parciales disponibles.

© J.C. Ulate

Próximo curso: OTS-2 2014. 15 de enero a 24 de febrero 2014.

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© K. Nishida

Fecha límite de aplicación: 15 de junio de 2013. Mas detalles

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© P. Carrmichael

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Ecology and Evolution of Arachnids (2 Credits) This two-week course is oriented towards graduate students with an interest in arthropods and upper level undergraduates interested in being exposed to tropical research. The course will be held at the La Selva Biological Research Station, Costa Rica. Students will delve into current scientific research and discover the cutting edge questions and approaches implemented by leading arachnologists. Students will also obtain fundamental understanding of arachnid evolution, with a focus on evolutionary relationship among extant and extinct chelicerate groups.

© J. Staf.

Coordinator: Eileen Hebets (Lab website) Course duration: 2 weeks (January 3-17, 2014) Application Deadline: October 1, 2013 for priority consideration, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.

Conservation Genetics (2 Credits) This two-week course is oriented towards graduate students with diverse research interests and experiences (e.g. plant, animal; terrestrial, aquatic, etc.). Topics covered include: measurement of genetic diversity and genetic structure, phylogeography, application of molecular data to taxonomic questions, gene flow, mating systems, effective population size estimates, and the application of genetic information for the management and restoration of disturbed landscapes. Students will also obtain fundamental understanding pertinent computer software and will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of available software.

© M&P Fodgen

Coordinator: Jim Hamrick (Lab website) Course duration: 2 weeks (May 24 to June 8, 2014) Application Deadline: February 3, 2014 for priority consideration, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled

Payment for Ecosystem Services: Putting Theory into Practice in Costa Rica (2 Credits) This is an intensive two week that will consider the design, implementation and evaluation of payments for ecosystem services (PES), using the “pago por servicios ambientales” (PSA) policy in Costa Rica as a case study. PSA is often cited in both the literature and policy debates about PES as a mechanism for conservation of tropical forests. The course will begin by placing PSA in context of other PES schemes in the tropics.

© C. Ziegler

Coordinator: Erin Sills (Bio) Course duration: 2 weeks (June 15-30, 2014) Application Deadline: February 3, 2014 for priority consideration, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.

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Inquiry in Rainforests: an in-service Program for Teachers This 14-day program provides teachers with both detailed information about tropical natural history as well as the pedagogy of teaching students to do research under field conditions. Held at the world famous La Selva Biological Station in a lowland tropical rainforest and the Soltis Education Center in the Tilaran Mountains near Arenal Volcano, the course includes discussions of tropical ecosystems and their conservation, research projects focused on ecological concepts and organisms, and the development of teaching plans and evaluation techniques appropriate for use in the teachers’ home institutions. The program is open to all secondary and college teachers, with preference given to those early in their careers. CE or graduate credit is available. Coordinator: Barbara Bentley and Joe Levine ( website) Course duration: 2 weeks (July 9-22, 2014) Application Deadline: March 1, 2014 for priority consideration, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.

Monitoring Tropical Forest Dynamics in a Changing Climate (2 credits). This course will incorporate interactive lectures, field practicums, discussion, and R programming to give students knowledge and hands-on experience in the following diverse topics pertaining to tropical forests in a changing climate: impacts, adaptation, mitigation, monitoring, assessment, and political and social context. This course will proceeds in four sections. 1. Role of tropical forests in the carbon cycle and climate regulation. 2. Impacts of climate change on tropical forests and global carbon cycle. 3. Long-term monitoring and assessment in tropical forests. 4. Political and social context surrounding tropical forest carbon storage, including a discussion of REDD+ initiatives

© J. Hurtado

Coordinator: Susan Letcher (Bio), Federico Alice (Universidad Nacional) and Johanna Hurtado (Project TEAM) Course Duration: 2 weeks (July 21 - August 3, 2014) Application deadline: February 3, 2014 for priority consideration, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.

Monitoring Terrestrial Vertebrates Using Camera Traps: Field and Analytical Techniques (2 credits). The course will overview camera trapping, a practical and consistent technique to monitor ground-dwelling terrestrial vertebrates. This course will enhance students’ ability to apply a systematic camera trapping survey in the field including spatial design, field camera trap deployment, and modern analytical techniques for camera trap data. © RECONYX

Coordinator: Manuel Spinola (Universidad Nacional), and Jorge Ahumada and Johanna Hurtado (Project TEAM). Course duration: 2 weeks (3 - 13 August, 2014) Application deadline: February 3, 2014 for priority consideration, followed by rolling admission until fully enrolled.

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P.O Box 676-2050 San Pedro, Costa Rica Phone: (506)-25240607 Fax: (506)-25240608

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OTS Graduate Program Catalog 2014  
OTS Graduate Program Catalog 2014  

OTS Graduate Program Catalog 2014

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