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Winter Break Travel Course to New Zealand

Zoology 40XX:

Biosecurity or Insecurity on a Mad Planet. 3 credits. Dec. 27, 2012 – January 12, 2013. Travel to New Zealand

An intensifying, multi-dimensional problem across the planet is the invasion of ecosystems by exotic animals, plants and even disease organisms.  There is increasing evidence that elements of climate change and water, air and soil pollution exacerbate these incursions.  There is no place on the planet immune from these invasions, but also no place better suited to their study than the southern hemisphere country of NEW ZEALAND.  The goals of this course are to introduce participants to the ecosystem resources of the two principle Islands of New Zealand (including Kiwi (birds), Kauri (trees), tusked weta (insects)) and the incursions that threaten these (e.g. possums, pathogenic often soil borne microorganisms, rodents).  Interaction with native people (The Maori) and European and Asian settlers, will supplement these experiences.  From the ecosystem resources and these people the principles of biosecurity will be drawn and control measures derived and observed in some of New Zealand’s National Parks and Island Sanctuaries (e.g. “Ark in the Park” and the volcanoes of Tongariro).  Students will meet likely three or four times during the late fall semester of 2012, then will spend approximately two weeks in New Zealand.  The course is tailored for both undergraduates and graduate students, and for students in the sciences as well as the humanities.  The classroom for most of this experience will be the New Zealand forests, savannahs and mountains.  Students should expect and be prepared for experiences from treks to several isolated locations, observations in nucleic acid labs, to cuisine in metropolitan Auckland, penguin colonies on the Tiritiri Mantangi island.  Although it will be the height of summer in New Zealand during this excursion, field trips have the potential to range from glaciers on the high peaks to the beaches of the New Zealand’s extensive coasts.

Cost: approx. $2000 plus air fare.  Scholarships and other financial support is available.

This is a limited enrollment course.  Students interested in participating should contact Prof. Stephen Williams immediately at (766-2683) for an application.

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