Amphibian and Reptile Experts in Costa Rica

James Hanken's students in OEB 167: Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles have the opportunity to go on a one-week trip to Costa Rica to see live amphibians and reptiles in the wild. Before the trip, students are given advance oral instructions during lecture and lab and a handout detailing trip logistics. To prepare, each student chooses a Costa Rican species before the trip and becomes familiar with that species' biology, so he or she can be the resident expert on the trip. The goal of the activity is to understand aspects of the biology of organisms that cannot be appreciated from reading a textbook or article, listening to a lecture, or seeing preserved specimens in lab.