Tropical Forest and Marine Ecology Course Hill Bank Field Station & Spanish Lookout Caye

Day 1: Arrive Philip Goldson International Airport, Belize City. Two hour bus ride to Hill Bank Field Station. Welcome and settle into living quarters. Orientation to Field Station. Dinner. Introduction to Belize, Programme for Belize, and Hill Bank. Overnight Hillbank Field Station.

Day 2: Early morning birding. Breakfast. Rainforest ecosystems and human use of natural resources. Lunch. Nature hike, Introduction to the vegetation of Belize, and field observation. Dinner. Neo-Tropical migrant songbird ecology. Overnight Hillbank Field Station

Day 3: Early morning birding. Breakfast. Conservation for the real world:  Introduction to ecosystem management and principles of forest management. Invertebrate sampling. Lunch. Site visit to forest management plots and Mennonite farm. Dinner. Night-lighting. Overnight Hillbank Field Station

Day 4: Early morning birding. Breakfast. Visit Research plots-sequestration project. Lunch. Ram Goat Creek canoe expedition. Dinner. Night walk/night-lighting. Overnight Hillbank Field Station

Day 5: Early-morning birding. Breakfast. Visit to Lamanai Archaeological Site. Pack Lunch. Visit to Indian Church (village). Bio-diversity, co-adaptation and the amazing leaf cutter ants activity. Dinner. Overnight Hillbank Field Station

Day 6: Optional early-morning birding. Breakfast. Visit to Community Baboon Sanctuary. Lunch in Creole village. Recreational Time (swimming, hiking, reading). Dinner. Crocodile spotting. Overnight Hillbank Field Station

Day 7: Optional early-morning birding. Breakfast. Sustainable Forest Management Presentation. Lunch. Field Lecture:  Tropical plant identification and native uses. Presentation on yellow head parrot recovery program. Dinner. Lecture: Where do we go from here?  Rainforest Conservation. Post course evaluation and Belizean farewell night Overnight Hillbank Field Station

Day 8: Breakfast. Depart for Belize City.  Two hour visit to Belize Zoo en-route.  Lunch at Cheers. Transfer on to Belize City.  Departure from Radisson Hotel Dock at 2:00 pm.  Twenty minutes boat ride to Spanish Lookout Caye.  Afternoon: Snorkel safety & Reef Etiquette orientation in shallow water. Dinner. Discussion on threats to marine ecosystems and conservation issues followed by Video “Sea of Belize” – Marine Ecology.

Day 9: Breakfast. Snorkel trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Snorkeling activity: Sea Grass beds, view of Coral and Marine Life. Lunch at Caye Caulker. Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley. Dinner. Slide Presentation on Coral reef types and zones.

Day 10: Breakfast. Lecture and video on mangrove eco systems. Activity; Kayak and snorkel to mangroves west, north or south of the island. Lunch. _ day snorkel Excursion to Goff’s Caye. Dinner. NGS Video on Ocean Drifters.

Day 11: Breakfast. Spanish Bay/Manatee search.  Lunch (Barbecue done at beach area). Pre-departure cleanup. Dinner. Post course evaluation, presentation of certificates and Belizean farewell night.

Day 12: Breakfast.  Departure for Belize City.  Shopping at the Handicraft center en-route to the International Airport.  (Time permitting).

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