Tropical Ecology and Conservation field course
In 2021/2022 this field course will be run based at the University of Stirling and in field sites in central Scotland with virtual and video links to Lopé National Park, Gabon. This module on Tropical Ecology and Conservation is part of the MSc Environmental Management (Conservation) in Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Stirling.
Get in touch with the module coordinator Prof Nils Bunnefeld or contributor Prof Kate Abernethy for further information. Read our blog about field work in Gabon here or check us out on twitter under the hashtag #GabonStirField.
The field course will cover the underlying ecological and socio-economic theories in tropical forest ecology and conservation which not only shape the management decisions at Lopé National Park, but are highly significant to global tropical ecology and conservation.
Upon completing this course, students should understand tropical forests from two angles: their conceptual underpinnings (lecture series) as well as practical techniques (field sessions) for decision making in a complex world (discussion sessions, presentations). They will be equipped with a flexible kit of ecological and socio-economic tools for carrying out data collection, analyses and interpretation in tropical forest systems, including how forests interact with human impacts such as hunting, forestry and protected areas. This will enable students to make decisions based on scientific evidence to formulate policy and develop management plans for a sustainable future.
The practical course will introduce students to the real-time challenge of managing protected areas, enabling classroom taught skills and knowledge acquired during the MSc courses to be applied and tested in coupled social-ecological landscapes. The course will also expose students to the wide benefits of the long-term, multidisciplinary research carried out by Stirling in Lopé National Park in Gabon as well as in central Scotland and provide a platform for development of further research project ideas.
Teaching will cover the major conservation issues that shape management strategies, the science that is required to underpin good policy decisions on those issues, the data collection and analytic techniques that support that scientific inquiry and finally the challenges associated with presentation of science to the range of professional and civil society stakeholders affected by protected area management.