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Field Biology in Suriname

Field Biology in Suriname
Study field biology in the rainforest of Suriname.
Location: 
Suriname
Language of Instruction: 
English
Term: 
Spring Break
Academic Disciplines: 
Biology
Environmental Studies
Graduate Courses
Program Type: 
Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students
Faculty Led
Highlights: 
  • Spend 10 days in Suriname learning field methods of measuring biodiversity
  • Earn 1 credit hour of lab in Biology or Environmental Studies
  • Experience one of the largest unspoiled tropical rainforests in the world
Program Summary: 

This 10-day program is open to undergraduates who desire experience in field biology. The course will focus on methods to assess and measure biodiversity in an extraordinarily diverse lowland rainforest environment. Insects will be used as a model system for data collection. The class will work in small teams with graduate students and undergraduates from the National University of Suriname to evaluate the diversity of several habitats in one of Suriname's protected areas.

Location: 

Suriname, the smallest country in South America, was founded as a Dutch colony until its independence from the Netherlands in 1975. The country is largely undeveloped, with more than 80% of the country still pristine rainforest. 

Culturally, Suriname is one of the most diverse countries in the Americas. The small population of just over 500,000 is divided among descendents of contract workers from northern India and Indonesia and African refugees who escaped slavery. Dutch is the official language, though English is widely spoken in the capital.

Academic Information: 

All students will enroll in one credit hour of BIOL/EVRN 531 Tropical Fieldwork in Biodiversity Discovery, and must be concurrently enrolled in BIOL/EVRN 530.  

Taught during the Spring 2019 semester, BIOL/EVRN 530: Topics in Biodiversity Discovery and Assessment will provide students with an overview of modern methods in biodiversity exploration and discovery. Students will learn about the theory and practice of planning fieldwork in remote locations, documenting species and their natural history, how museum collections are made, calculating and comparing species richness estimates, and the process of describing and naming new species.

While in the field, students will collect insects using a variety of methods and also experience the tremendous abundant wildlife in the reserve.

Housing: 

In Paramaribo, students will be housed in double or triple occupancy rooms at a western-style hotel.  While in the field, housing conditions will be extremely rugged and more comparable to tent camping, and may include hammock-camps. Running water and electricity may not be available at all sites. 

Life Abroad: 

2019 Program Dates

  • Spring Semester: All students will enroll in and complete BIOL/EVRN 530 Biodiversity Discovery and Assessment. The class meets twice weekly (days/times tbd)
  • Spring Break (tentative dates): 
    • Depart U.S.: Friday, March 8 
    • Arrive Suriname: Saturday, March 9 
    • Return from Suriname: Monday, March 18

Students will arrive in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, and spend a day exploring the historic city which dates back to the 17th century.  They will also visit the campus of the National University of Suriname, and meet the Surinamese student counterparts that will be joining the fieldwork portion of the trip.

The group will then travel to the selected field site, spending 7 days engaging in collections and assessment.  Information on the specific field site to be visited by the program in 2019 will be available in early October.  Past field sites have included the Brownsberg Nature Park, a remote protected area on a 1500 foot high mountain which is covered in rainforest, and the Central Suriname Nature Reserve (CSNR), one of the largest protected areas in Amazonia.​

Eligibility: 

Open to undergraduate students from accredited US colleges and universities. Due to the rugged and primitive field conditions, students must be reasonably physically fit (able to hike for 3 or more hours carrying a 30lb. pack). Field clothes and certain camping-related gear is required. Acceptance to the program is by permission of instructor, and limited to 10 students. 

 

Program Faculty: 

Dr. Andrew Short
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
6002 Haworth Hall
785-864-2323
aezshort@ku.edu

Andrew Short is an associate professor and curator of Entomology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He has been on more than 30 expeditions to South America, including some sponsored by Conservation International, the World Wildlife Fund, and the National Geographic Society. He is an expert on the diversity and evolution of aquatic beetles. He has been working in Suriname since 2010. 


Announcements

Deadlines Extended for Spring 2020 & Winter Break 2020 Programs !
List of Programs (PDF)

Study Abroad Information Center

Walk-in advising
Monday - Friday. 9AM - 5 PM
Lippincott Hall, Room 105
1410 Jayhawk Boulevard
Contact: studyabroad@ku.edu

Study Abroad Financial Advising
Financial Aid and Scholarship Info Session
Wednesday, 4:00 pm &
Thursday, 2:00 pm
105 Lippincott Hall

 

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