EAS 354 (Costa Rica)
The EAS 354 Environmental Earth Science field school in Costa Rica focuses on understanding the ecological and environmental processes present at a tropical cloud forest, and a tropical dry forest. In the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, students study the impacts of climate change on fragile ecosystems and how those ecosystems are responding and adapting to climate change. The visit involves both night and day walks in the cloud forest reserve. The dry forest component takes place at Santa Rosa National Park Environmental Monitoring Super Site (SRNP-EMSS), a UAlberta facility that examines the impact and response of tropical dry forests to climate change. Here, students explore issues of ecosystem succession and learn to use a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS), employ wireless sensor networks, utilize hemispherical photography in the interpretation of essential climatic variables, and characterize forest ecosystems. In addition to the cloud and dry forest experiences, students learn about elements associated with the agricultural/energy landscapes during the drive from Monteverde to Santa Rosa. Additional perks include exposure to the culture of Costa Rica and, time permitting, a day at Junquillal Marine reserve, a top coastal destination.
The EAS 429 Northwest Territories Geology field school provides advanced Geology students with an excellent opportunity to hone the field skills learned in the second and third year field schools by applying them in a real-world, far-north setting. In this field school, a select group of 6 students map alongside EAS professors and Northwest Territories Geological Survey geologists in an understudied area of the NWT. The field school is held at different remote field sites within a ~250 km radius of Yellowknife. Travel to the field area is typically by float plane, with transport within the field area by boat or on foot. Students participating in the NWT field school learn not only geological skills but also gain valuable wilderness experience that will be of great benefit in future careers in exploration geoscience.