This summer, about 10 biology students will be traveling to the Peruvian Amazon under the guidance of Drs. Bill Rogers and Janice Chism. They are taking part in the BIOL 552A course, Field Conservation Biology in the Tropics, which will teach students the importance of conservation in the Amazon Rainforest and field research methods.
The Amazon Rainforest is perhaps the most vital ecosystem in the world, containing numerous biodiversity hotspots and covering much of South America. The students will be traveling into the Amazon Rainforest via boat after flying into Iquitos, Peru and there they will stay at a research station in the rainforest. Students will be conducting short-term research projects, interacting with local cultures and learning field methods during their time in Peru.
The question many people may ask is this: why worry about conservation in the first place? What isn’t realized, however, is that all life on Earth is connected in some way, shape or form.
Actions which have negative consequences on river dolphins in the Amazon River will eventually have negative consequences on humans across the planet. Biologists are particularly interested in the Amazon Rainforest due to its intense biodiversity and surplus of endemic species of both animals and plants.
Many pharmaceuticals have arisen from the properties found in Amazonian flora, and there is a spectacular array of animals to be found in the region. Humans need the Amazon Rainforest to stay intact, and the students traveling to Peru this summer will be learning how to help protect the area.