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Available courses

This field course provides an introduction to field research in primatology and will engage students in wildlife conservation.  Course topics explore the behavior, ecology and conservation of nonhuman primates (New World monkeys and howler monkeys, (Alouatta pigra) in particular), with emphasis on natural history and adaptation to the environment.  Specific topics include methods for the study of primate behavior, history of primate behavior research, socio-ecology, foraging, predation, affiliation, aggression, mating, parenting, development, communication, and conservation.  Because most primate species are listed as threatened or endangered, the course will also examine the threats to primate survival and strategies for their conservation.

This course is designed for undergraduate students with an interest in wildlife from a pre-vet, biology or conservation perspective. Through a combination of classroom lectures, field trips and practicums, students will be introduced to tropical ecology, local conservation efforts, Belizean wildlife and wildlife research techniques. This intensive, introductory course will help students understand the many factors which affect the management, conservation, habitat and health of wild animals.

This course covers the basic scientific fundamentals of livestock production, including anatomy and physiology, feeding and nutrition, reproductive physiology, selective breeding, health, management in the tropics. Students have opportunities for physical examination of animals in the field, as well as other practical techniques used in animal husbandry and veterinary medicine. There is a lot of field work and active practice in this course. Students also participate in local spay and neuter clinics in local villages on available weekends.

Tropical Marine Ecology and Conservation is an intensive, 12 day, experiential systems-ecology course that includes classroom, field, and laboratory components in terrestrial, riparian, estuarine and marine ecosystems, with an emphasis on reef/mangrove/grassbed ecology and conservation.  This course starts in the upper Sibun River Watershed because to better understand marine ecology and conservation, we must understand something of the watershed ecology and conservation.  

This course explores the intersections of health, medicine, economics and social development in the tropics, with Belize as the focus.   Emphasis is placed on the scientific, intercultural and social aspects of global health, tropical medicine, public health and ethno-biology.  Students will also examine policy issues and determinants of public health and health policy in international health, and acquire an introduction to tropical diseases and review the strategies used to respond to these diseases in a resource-limited settings.  Students will learn to approach health in its wider social, political and economic context and acquire a basic understanding of the intimate interdependent relationship between health and development processes.

Contemporary indigenous groups draw on a long history of working with medicinal plants from their surrounding environment, while taking a holistic approach to health care. Around the globe many traditional health practices are quickly fading, however traditional healers remain widely consulted and essential members of their communities. This course will offer an introduction to the world of traditional health as it is practiced and integrated into daily life in southern Belize. The health practices of Maya and Garifuna populations will be explored in-depth, with a focus on their vitality and relevance to people’s lives. Through in-class lectures and discussions, readings, guest lectures, visits with traditional healers and other elders, tours of a medicinal plant garden and medicinal plant walks with healers, students will have the opportunity to experience unique health traditions as they have been passed down through generations and begin to understand their form and function in today’s world.