Biological Field Studies - BIO 209

The trip provides an opportunity to hike through the rainforest, explore Mayan ruins, and discover new species while earning college credit. Experience firsthand one of the most unique biomes on the planet. For participants who want the experience but do not need the college credit, participation is possible through the International Community Education program.

2018 Jaguar research begins in Belize





Since 2007, Professor Dave Cox has been leading study abroad groups to Belize to study the biodiversity of the rainforest. After hearing reports from locals, finding physical evidence and one visual sighting of a jaguar, Professor Cox decided to start a jaguar monitoring project on the grounds of Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge. The 1st phase of the project began in January 2018 with the placement of 6 trail cameras along several known jaguar corridors. A plaster cast was also made of an adult jaguar print. The images collected on the cameras will help researchers identify the various animals that live in the rainforest. Images of jaguars can be used to identify individuals so that a population study can be done.

Belize is home to one of the largest populations of jaguars in Central America. Scientific research is necessary so that conservation practices can be recommended to help conserve this species. Groups like Panthera, the Belize Zoo, and Inspire Edventures are active in working towards jaguar conservation in Belize
For more information about ways you can be involved in jaguar conservation, contact Professor Cox.




Students who are interested in studying jaguars should contact Professor Cox about enrolling in Bio 209 (Biological Field Studies). This course will teach you the basics about how to design a biological field study. Belize is one of the many field sites that can be used to satisfy the requirements for this course.

Bio 209 is taught in a hybrid format. Lectures, quizzes and exams are completed online while the field studies portion of the course is completed at a selected field site.

2013 grasshopper discovery prompts new opportunities in Belize

During the January 2013 Biological Field Studies course a previously unrecorded genus of grasshopper was discovered on one of the jungle hikes. This experience shows the amazing opportunities that await participants on any of the Belize trips.