We're looking forward to our course. As part of our course expectations, each student will present a twenty minute talk on a tropical ecosystem topic of your choice during the course. These presentations will be at lunch time or in the evenings. You may have as little as one day's notice!
To do a good job in your 15-20 minute presentation, you will need to hit the library and WWW well ahead of time. We will use the World Wide Web as our Discussion Feedback Central. You can see what other students are talking about and I would expect that you would submit suggestions on other peoples topics as well!
In the selection of a topic, besides submitting a title, include a synopsis of your discussion topic. What do you plan on teaching the class? Why do you feel your topic is important? Include an outline of your talk and at least 5 references! We will provide feedback(everyone is welcome to contribute suggestions) via the web.
The time line for completion is:
-By Feb 28, 1998. Topic Selection, Paragraph, Outline, and Sources. First-Come, First-Served!
-March 30, 1998. Final Submission: Rewrite after having received feedback.
Topics can include, but are not restricted to, anything related to tropical ecology. Some topic ideas include land use, agriculture, climate change, conservation, plants (epiphytes, emergent trees, palms, understory plants); processes (predation in tropical rain forests, competition, nutrient cycling, mutualism), hydroelectric power, conservation, plate tectonics and volcanism in the Neotropics, indigenous peoples, coral reefs in Costa Rica, mangrove ecosystems, deforestation, species loss, or specfic species or family studies on reptiles, amphibians, birds, or other specific organisms (e.g., monkeys, bats, sloths, lizards, parrots, fresh water fish, mollusks, butterflies and moths) or other topics addressing biodiversity and sustainability (the national park system, economy and sustainability in Costa Rica, soil types, cattle ranching, the timber industry, environmentalism, medicinal plants). Let your interests lead the way. To "prime" your discussion, you may wish to provide readings in advance to the class.
Let me know if we can help in any way. And, if you haven't done so yet, check out the Trop Ecosytems of Costa Rica Image Web Page. You'll get a taste of what's in store!
If you have questions, please use e-mail or the phone (HaysC 9-1338: or Chris M9-5664).
Hays and Chris
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