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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Bocas del Toro, Panama
  • Program Terms: ISP
  • Restrictions: NCF applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Tuition Paid to New College: Yes
Program Description:
***Only those students who have applied and been accepted to this ITEC program can go ahead and submit their New College off-campus study forms by clicking on the APPLY NOW button above.***

Please note that the deadline to submit your ISP Description Form in the Registrar's Office is December 2.

FIELD COURSE INTERNSHIP ISP:  Coral Reef Ecology in Panama 

NEW COLLEGE FACULTY SPONSOR:  Alfred Beulig, Ph.D.  Professor of Biology (Emeritus) 
Phone: 941-487-4374
Prof. Beulig will be available in Rm 110, Palmer E, for personal interviews.

PROGRAM SPONSOR (Local Office)Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC) - Click here to apply to the program on the ITEC website.
2911 NW 40th PL
Gainesville, FL 32605
Phone:  352-367-9128

TUITION FEE: $1500 USD (includes all lodgings, meals and airport transfers in Bocas del Toro), paid to ITEC.

LAB FEE for scuba-certified (PADI, NAUI, or SSI certified) students who will be diving: $100 to cover dive tank, air and dive weight rental, paid to ITEC
Diving certification is not necessary to enroll in this course, but is recommended. Students with SCUBA certification are expected to bring their own BC, regulator, mask / fins / snorkel and proof of certification.  Snorkelers do not need to pay the lab fee.

AIRFARE: Students are responsible for their own airfare to and from Panama. They may contact the ITEC office in Gainesville for travel advice.

FINANCIAL AID from the New College Foundation Coral Reef Ecology-Panama Fund is available as well as the New College Student Research and Travel Grant.  Students should apply to these and other funding sources early and plan adequately for this opportunity.  Please contact Prof. Beulig for more information.

INSURANCE: The ITEC application requires students to have their own insurance and be able to show proof of insurance.  Without it, they will not be admitted to health facilities in Panama if there should be an emergency.  Please contact ITEC for more information.

Students must be at least 18 years old to participate in the program.

This course is designed to provide the student with a sound foundation in ecological concepts, techniques and experimental design in field research as applied to coral reef ecosystems.  By way of introduction in the lecture, the course will begin with a global ecosystem perspective and then will narrow to assess the way in which local reefs are influenced by both global and local phenomena.  We will focus in depth on the Caribbean using the reef at Bocas del Toro as an example.  We will provide a brief introduction to plate tectonics as a basis for understanding the production of substrate for for reefs and their distribution in the biosphere.  In this context we will discuss origins of reefs and characterize a general reef community.  The major reef biota that inform the character of reefs will be discussed in terms of their anatomy, physiology, ecological requirements, roles on the reef and overall impact.

During the first week in the field, students will visit several sites in the vicinity of the station to famliarize themselves with the area and to do reconnaissance observations that may lead to hypotheses that could be tested in individual projects.  Students will be organised into dive team groups and will carry out field observations or data collection by which they will gain experience in the local area to help decide upon a likely study site.  These experiences will prepare students to carry out individual research projects. 

In the evening, students will participate in "debriefing sessions" during which they will try to identify the reef organisms they saw during the dives of the day and record the common name and scientific name of the species in a debriefing log.  

Individual Research Projects
Each student will be expected to prepare a grant proposal for an original project in consultation with faculty.  Projects may be suggested by observations made during group exercises or from the research literature, and will be evaluated on the basis of feasibility in the available time, soundness of experimental design and concept.  During final week of the course, data analysis and writing of project reports will be carried out and students will present their results orally in an end-of-course symposium.  They will present the report on their findings in the form of a journal article for evaluation.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.