Technology Meets Conservation online & field course in 2014 (deadline 15 Nov 2013)

Topics in Tropical Asian Forestry: Technology meets conservation

Course Description
Deforestation in Asia is progressing at a faster rate than any other tropical area, reducing natural forest cover to its lowest level in the Quaternary Period. A variety of modern technologies have been developed that can accelerate and invigorate conservation. This course will focus on how nascent techniques can be used to monitor change in habitats and biodiversity.

We will investigate technological and analytical advances in tropical conservation before developing a group project to implement these methods to monitor species richness or biotic interactions. We expect that group projects will result in at least one multi-authored publication.

The course will consist of two parts: an online lecture/discussion course in Spring 2014 and a four week field course in June 2014 at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) in Yunnan, China, a research institute in the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

All travel and accommodation expenses will be paid for 18 graduate students from any graduate degree granting institution in the U.S.A. or tropical Asia, funded by the US National Science Foundation. An additional 12 mainland Chinese graduate students will be funded by the Chinese National Science Foundation.

Instructors
David Lohman, City College of New York, City University of New York, webpage: www.sci.ccny.cuny.edu/lohman/
Chuck Cannon, Texas Tech & Chinese Academy of Sciences, www.ecologicalevolution.org

Online Course
Students will watch lecture videos online prior to participating in a guided discussion that will meet online once a week in Spring 2014 (February – May). Students will form partnerships with classmates and perform research projects on specific regions of the Asian tropics. Given the ease of web-based global communication, the students will be expected to develop proficiency in communicating with peers across technological, geographical, and cultural boundaries.

Guest lecturers for the course include Richard CORLETT (XTBG), Rhett HARRISON (Kunming Institute of Botany), Erik MEIJAARD (People and Nature Consulting), Douglas SHEIL (Director, Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation), Cam WEBB (Arnold Arboretum/Harvard), and Jianchu XU (Chief Scientific Officer, ICRAF/China).

Field Course
The Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (http://english.xtbg.cas.cn) has been performing scientific research and providing agro-forestry outreach and training for over 50 years in the remote southwestern corner of China, near the borders of Laos and Myanmar. With an active community of international scientists and graduate students, XTBG is a leading ecological and botanical research institute in the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

All students enrolled in the course will travel to XTBG in June 2014 to participate in field training, taxon-specific survey techniques, and to complete one or more group projects.

When/Where
4 weeks in June-July 2014 at XTBG, Yunnan, China

To apply, please visit one of the following sites: http://www.pfs-tropasia.org/ or http://www.ecologicalevolution.org/training/). The deadline for applications is November 15, 2013. If you have any questions about the course, please email chuck.cannon@ttu.edu or dlohman@ccny.cuny.edu

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