This course provides you with an introduction to tropical field ecology, biodiversity, and conservation of Western Mexico. Seminars, class discussions, guest lectures, and field exercises provide overviews of the geological and natural history of Mexican biota, an introduction to altitudinal variation in life zones, techniques for assessment of biological diversity, and conservation issues in the Neotropics generally and Mexico specifically. We will visit two biological stations and a a handful of other sites as our schedule permits. These field sites will serve as geographic foci for group research projects designed in consultation with the instructors. In addition class fieldwork will provide introduction to some of the typical, rare and endemic flora and fauna of the region.


  • Seminars based on selected topics; to be presented in Mexico in the first week of the course.
  • Field notebook recording field observations, results etc.
  • Seminar relating results from your group projects.
  • Participation including asking questions during class discussions and peer seminars, involvement in group activities – and impromptu species presented nations in the field.
  • Written report (10-12 pages) based on group projects – to be submitted one month after our return on 5th April 2019

Pre-trip Seminar 20%
Field Book: 20%
Group Project Seminar: 10%
Participation: 10%
Blog: 10%
Written Report: 30%

2017 class during visit at the organic pineapple plantation