Announcement for a new field course in digital forest monitoring techniques
We are offering scholarships for twelve M.Sc. or Ph.D. students currently enrolled in a Chinese university to participate in a new field course jointly funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Natural Science Foundation of China. The course will last four weeks and take place in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. The scholarship will cover travel expenses to XTBG and living expenses during the four weeks of the course. The students will collaborate with twelve graduate students from US universities and six from developing Asian countries. The course will be composed of three main portions: 1) a series of lectures given by leading scientists, 2) discussion groups of important publications and critical topics; and 3) field exercises and experiments to determine the best and most effective protocols for gathering digital rapidly and meaningfully. The course leaders are Charles Cannon (Texas Tech Univ. and XTBG) and David Lohman (City College of New York) and the course is supported by the Program for Field Studies office at XTBG.
Field Course Schedule
July26-28: arrive and travel to XTBG. Introductions and orientation. Tour of garden and facilities.
July 29-Aug 4: These days will involve morning lectures, afternoon discussion groups, and local field exercises. The following lectures and discussion topics will be included: biodiversity in Asia, basic plant and invertebrate identification, soil faunal communities, biogeography and climate change, forest policy and conservation biology in Asia, forests in human dominated landscapes, metagenomics and DNA barcoding.
Aug 5-10: Perform local forest restoration exercises including planting seedlings in the understory and liberation thinning of climbers in planned experiments. Develop field protocol and working teams for collecting digital data in a rapid survey context.
Aug 11-18: Travel to the Mengsong field station and visit several different forest types and perform rapid forest surveys in different locations.
Aug 19-26: Travel back to Xishuangbanna, enter and curate data, perform preliminary analyses and generate final report. Depart.
The field course is also linked to an on-going online course. This course focuses on the major issues surrounding tropical Asian forest management and the use of modern and widespread digital technology in biotic surveys to monitor forest change on a human scale. A second but equally important objective is the exploration of novel means of global collaboration and communication, including making and editing videos. Guest lecturers cover current issues and hot topics while small group discussions explore their implications. Selected students will be join this on-line class at the following website and invited to watch the presentations and contribute their own material and ideas.
Please go to the Program for Field Studies website and apply online: