Costa Rica FLiP Trip: Students learn about Tropical Ecology and Occupancy Modeling

April 21, 2014, by William Gould, Professor, Economics, Applied Statistics & International Business Department, via email

Front left: Bill Gould. Middle row: Lauren Lien, Emily Phillips, Stephanie Regan, Tori Barron, Vanessa Martinez. Back row (left to right): Jose Loya, Jacob Florez, Tim Wright, Megan Miller, Genevieve Tucker, Arthur Anaya. La Fortuna waterfall near Arenal Volcano is in the background. [March 2014] (Submitted photo)

Front left: Bill Gould. Middle row: Lauren Lien, Emily Phillips, Stephanie Regan, Tori Barron, Vanessa Martinez. Back row (left to right): Jose Loya, Jacob Florez, Tim Wright, Megan Miller, Genevieve Tucker, Arthur Anaya. La Fortuna waterfall near Arenal Volcano is in the background. [March 2014] (Submitted photo)

Tim Wright (Biology) and Bill Gould (Applied Statistics) team-taught two courses on Tropical Ecology and Occupancy Modeling to introduce students to ecosystems that differ from ours in North America and to learn about statistical methodology useful for estimating the distribution of flora and fauna on the landscape.

Students learned about the environment and occupancy estimation prior to traveling, developed proposals for conducting surveys, and executed those surveys during our trip to Costa Rica in a dry and wet rainforest. Presence/absence data was collected on numerous species including primates, birds, butterflies, bats, fungi, etc.

The heat and humidity were overcome by the students’ enthusiasm and interest in the richly biodiverse areas we visited.


NMSU Faculty-Led International Programs (FLiP)

The Office of International and Border Programs, through its Office of Education Abroad (OEA), is happy to enter into the second year of its Faculty-Led International Programs (FLiP) Office to help NMSU faculty develop educational opportunities abroad. Faculty personally taking groups of students abroad, while simultaneously teaching a course, is one of the best ways for students to study abroad without interrupting their regular semester courses on campus. These courses allow students a unique opportunity to travel and study internationally, in a mobile classroom setting, at the lowest possible cost. All FLiP courses are unique to NMSU and are born out of the professor’s academic interest, and can even be coordinated around projects of need in the host country.


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