Biological Sciences

Summer Field Programs

Appalachian Mountains

A field course designed to examine biotic communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Field work will be conducted in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Your experience will include:

  • Species identification and ecology of forest communities
  • Development of community indices
  • Map and compass orienteering
  • Hiking and camping
  • Cultural anthropology
  • White-water rafting
  • Hands-on videography of terrestrial ecosystems

A Taste of the Program

The first week is spent at the Florida Tech campus examining the Appalachian systems ecology and geology through lecture and laboratory exercises. The second week is spent in the field at the Great Smokies National Park an International Biospheric Reserve in Tennessee and North Carolina. Here you can apply the information introduced in the lecture and laboratory to characterize the structure of selected communities.

On a single hike you can explore the high elevation Boreal forest and then descend into the dense, humid Cove Hardwood forest, the most diverse forest community of the Eastern Deciduous Forest. Field data will be supplemented by videography produced by the class. Field data and observations will serve as the basis of information for a field report that will be submitted as part of the course assignment.

One day will be set aside for nonacademic exercises such as white-water rafting, horseback riding or biking. Travel will be by minivan and the accommodation will be tent camping. Equipment and supplies that must be supplied by the student are listed in the summer field program checklist. Non-Florida Tech students will be housed in the Florida Tech resident halls during the first week of the course.