Students Return from Trip to the Amazon

Cristina Cox Fernandes recently completed the pilot run of her new course, “Amazon Aquatic Ecology”. Biology students from UMass, SUNY Oswego, Hampshire College, and Mt. Holyoke College embarked on a 10 day field excursion to the Amazon, to experience and explore first hand the Amazon and Negro rivers and floodplains, in the vicinity of Manaus, Brazil. Students interacted with Brazilian scientists who gave lectures on varied topics such as Amazonian plants, fishes, birds, conservation, and the interaction of local communities with their riverine environment. Students also conducted individual projects, on topics such as fish feeding habits, river dolphins behavior, black and white water invertebrates, palm and bird diversity. 2012 has been notable for its record floodwater levels, which allowed the group to enter areas normally impassable. Students encountered many species of monkeys, snakes, spiders, fishes, and trees, especially palms. All in all it was a great inaugural run, leaving an indelible stamp in the memory of all involved!

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