UNO Professor to Lead Pioneering Field Course in Central Africa
A University of New Orleans biology professor will help lead a pioneering undergraduate field course on tropical ecology and conservation in the Central African country of Gabon during the summer of 2014.
Nicola Anthony, associate professor of biological sciences, will coordinate the course, which is part of a prestigious research and education program known as the Central African Biodiversity Alliance. The program is funded through a National Science Foundation award made to UNO and partners at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University at Albany.
The field course is organized by the UNO College of Sciences, the UNO Division of International Education, the University of Science and Technology of Masuku, Gabon (USTM) and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The course is noteworthy because it will bring together student teams from the United States and Gabon to work on projects of common interest in biodiversity research and conservation.
Ten undergraduate students from Gabon and 10 from the U.S. will work collaboratively on team-led research projects at Lopé National Park in Gabon. The cost of participating in the program (travel, room and board) will be provided free of charge for successful applicants. Students may obtain university credit at an additional cost.
"This is an exciting opportunity for students from two continents to work together in one of the world's greatest centers of biodiversity," Anthony said. "Through this program, we hope that students will gain valuable international experiences that will help them in their future careers."
Students will participate in a preparatory 10-week online seminar in the spring before the start of the course in Gabon. The Gabon portion of the program will take place from July 14-Aug. 4. Students will begin the course with several days of pre-field training at USTM, then embark on a 10-day trip to collect field data in Lopé National Park and return to USTM to analyze data and prepare formal presentations at the end of the course.
UNO is now accepting applications from American undergraduate students who have a minimum 2.7 GPA, one semester of sophomore level ecology or evolutionary biology and one semester of college French, which can be taken in spring 2014. For application instructions, visit http://inst.uno.edu/Gabon. The application deadline is Dec. 6, 2013.