Tropical ecology of South India is an introduction to and comparative analysis of coastal ecosystems, plainlands, and montane tropical ecosystems of the Western Ghats. The course will be taught on-site at a variety of ecosystem preserves and national parks. Topics include tropical ecosystem structure and function, adaptations of flora and fauna, biodiversity surveys, past and present human interaction with the landscape, and autecology (how an organism interacts with its biotic and abiotic surroundings) of selected plants and animal species.
Students from North America and India (Bishop Heber College) will interact in this cross-cultural course. Mini-buses will transport the group to each site with extensive hiking at each location. Food and lodging will be provided at nearby hostels and hotels. The course is co-taught by North American faculty member, Prof. Dieter Bouma and Indian faculty member Dr. A. Relton, Lecturer in Sociology of Bishop Heber College, with guest experts in natural and cultural history also participating. (4 credits; 120 contact hrs)