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Tropical Dendrology in Costa Rica
(Course on field identification of tropical trees and shrubs)

 
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Short, international course on field identification of tropical plant families, by leaves & other vegetetative characters, offered in Costa Rica since 1993
 
 

Next course in
English :
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June 26-July 8
2017

 

Next course in
Spanish
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March 20 - April 1
2017





1This Course of field tropical dendrology may be specially tailored for special groups coming to Costa Rica , Please:
SEND ME A MESSAGE

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References by former students
   

Participants learn more than it is normally expected in a two-week course. By the end of each course, most of the students have declared that they are able to identify, just in the field, down to family or genus level, about 70% - 80% of the trees and shrubs of the Neotropics. This accomplishment is mainly based on the use of a five-page comprehensive DENDRO-MATRIX prepared by the main instructor. The instructors also give the scientific name and uses of most of the trees and shrubs found during the field practices. SEND ME A MESSAGE for additional information on the DENDRO-MATRIX

 
 
See more general information below, or go to: "Detailed Description of the course " "

CLICK HERE
for SHORT opinions given by former students.
   

This course is offered
in
FOUR different life zones;
Thus, it is A UNIQUE WAY TO HAVE YOUR FIRST CONTACT WITH TROPICAL ENVIRONMENTS
   
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COST:
US $1600.00
     
     
     
     
1 REGISTRATION
 
If you are interested, please fill out and send the " Registration Form" or "Send me a Message ".
   
11 COSTS, DATES, LANGUAGES
 
The course is given every year, one in English (June-July) and one in Spanish (March or April), and it costs US$ 1,600.00 which includes: fees, materials, lodging and meals, insurance, course-related local transportation, farewell dinner, and certificate of attendance. Airfare costs are not included.
   
1 AN EFFICIENT METHODOLOGY
 
The Tropical Dendrology course is devoted mainly to teach predetermination techniques i.e. to prepare students to define at a glance, just in the field the most probable genera and/or family to which a tropical plant belongs. It is accepted that after having the family, it is easier to get the genus and, from here to get the species. Students obtain the species name of most of the trees and shrubs found during the course. The also know how to find genera and species names in the literature or in the herbaria, when working in their own countries. This system is devoted mainly to the American tropics but, according to participants from Africa and Asia, it will work also in their countries, where species are different but families and genera are mostly the same as in tropical America.

In this course we apply a highly efficent methodology to identify trees, shrubs and other plants just in the field, developed by Dr. L. R. Holdridge and expanded upon by Dr.  Alwin H.  Gentry, that has been successfully applied in Central and South America. Such method has been followed for years in some Latin American universities to teach courses taken an average of 3-4 hours every week and giving the normal quizzes and exams. This way university students have enough time to study and organize their class notes and to prepare home works.

Some years ago we started giving short intensive courses. We used to work an average of 8 hours every day, causing that the students do not have enough time to study their class notes as they use to do it during university courses. For this reason, our first short intensive courses normally lasted NO MORE than 3 days. Why?. Because longer courses did cause “students memory to be overstuffed with non-digested data”.

. What to do?. We introduced to the course innovative practical teaching techniques to avoid students be overstuffed. A device successfully helping students to learn plant pre-identification is the “the DENDRO-MATRIX, a 5-page summary of all important families and genera studied during the course, designed and taught by the main instructor. As in university courses, in our short courses we use field characteristics such as leaves, twigs, bark, buttresses, odors, exudates, etc. We also provide information about scientific names, about main uses of species we study, and about general relationships between plants, animals and environment. It is notorious that participants learn more than it is normally expected in a two-week intensive dendrology course. In addition, participants are trained to progress by their own, after the course, using the DENDRO-MATRIX in identifing more and more species of tropical trees and shrubs just in the field. By the end of our course, most of the students have declared that they are able to identify, down to family level, about 80% of the tropical trees and shrubs of the Neotropics.
   
1 CANDITATES
 

The Tropical Dendrology course has been attended by students, Professionals and Lay Persons in biology, forestry, biodiversity, enthomology, birding and ornithology, ecology, ethnobotany, medicinal botany, agroforestry, field guiding, and other areas in the natural resource field. Plant Taxonomists, who usually worki both at the herbarium or in the countryside, and persons not directly involved with such kind of professions but having special interest in botany , have also attended the course. Dr. Mark Plotkin, ethnobotanist, attended the course as a student and, as all the participants, gave his positive comment on the course (see "Testimonies on our services" page)

Please, Click here for comments about advantages gained by Plant Taxonomists.

   
1 INSTRUCTORS
 

Participants will be under the direction of experienced instrutors who are Dr. Humberto Jiménez-Saa, (Tropical Science Center); and Ms. Willow Zuchowski, while in Monteverde. Also other colleagues take part in the course while in the Atlantic Region

Dr. Humberto Jiménez Saa is the Manager of the course and sometimes receives support from mentioned instructors; he acts as main intructor, and he has under his responsability all academic and methological aspects.

   
1 CREDITS
 
We will be very pleased to share some ideas about how to get academic credits. Please Send me a message
   
11 GETTING TO KNOW COSTA RICA
 
Four contrasting climatic enviroments will be visited, all of them very close one each other, as follows: the Central Valley (Premontane Moist Forest), the Monteverde Cloud Forest, the Guanacaste Dry Forest, and the Atlantic Moist and Wet Forests. This way, this course offers opportunities of both learning dendrology and getting to know a great deal of Costa Rica . It has been considered also a unique way to get the first contact with tropical environments.
   
1 TRAVELING FROM YOUR COUNTRY
 
The course includes 13 full days of academic activities. Thus, participants should allow one day to arrive (Sunday) and one day to depart (Sunday).
   
11 MORE INFORMATION
 
Detailed descriptions of the course are presented at "Detailed Description of the course " and at "Articles about our duties" (see: Article No. 1 and No. 3) of this website. There you may find information about TEACHING METHODOLOGY, FIELD TRIPS, TEACHING TECHNIQUES, SPECIAL SKILLS GATHERED BY STUDENTS, COURSE CONTENT, ETC. To obtain additional information, please "Send me a Message ".
   
1 REGISTRATION
 
If you are interested, please fill out and send the " Registration Form" or "Send me a Message ". Candidates will be evaluated as their applications are received and will be notified as soon as possible of their acceptance.



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CONTACT:

Dr. Humberto Jiménez-Saa Curriculum Vitae
Tropical Science Center
P.O.Box 8-3870-1000
San Jose, Costa Rica

Fax: (+506) 2253-4963
Phone (Office):(+506) 2253-3267
Phones (Home): (+506) 2231-1236
(+506) 2291-0862 $$

 
     
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E-mail:
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HUMBERTO JIMENEZ SAA
DERECHOS RESERVADOS 2008