BIOS S-158: Study Abroad in the Dominican Republic: Biodiversity of the Dominican Republic



Students study the biota of the Dominican Republic on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola as a microcosm of the evolution of biodiversity on Earth. This course explores the interplay of ecological niches and evolutionary diversification in the organisms and habitats of a tropical island that is large enough to harbor many remarkable kinds of animals and plants and yet small enough to be understood. Lectures consist of morning presentations on the classification and biology of the major groups of vertebrates and invertebrates of Hispaniola for comparing the ecology and diversity of different animal/plant communities on the island. The skills required for field identification of major groups (e.g., species of birds or lizards, orders of insects and other invertebrates) are emphasized through construction of a field journal used on a series of overnight excursions to biomes such as deserts, rainforests, pine forests, and coral reefs.