CAC Island Biogeography - Hawaii
During this year's Winter Break, CAC will travel to
study wildlife in Hawaii. The dates of travel will be
Because of their isolation from large land
masses, the Hawaiian Islands afford a unique opportunity to study
the influences of geography on wildlife. Because the archipelago has
unique plants and animals that are found no-where else on earth, the
Hawaiian Islands are ideal for studying the kinds of local
adaptations that are critical to our understanding of evolution.
The focus of this field trip will be on
in the context of local geographic features. While in Hawaii,
we will visit four distinct habitats:
High-altitude desert ecology in the extinct
Windward side rainforest ecology
Shallow-water coral reef ecology
Inter-island pelagic zone
Although, access to wildlife can never be
guaranteed, our goal will be to make direct observations of as many species
as possible in each area. Goals will include
Birds: terrestrial, wetlands, and
seabirds, including endemic species like the I'Iwi and the Nene
Fish: more than fifty species of fish
can be expected in the near-shore coral reefs
Reptiles: terrestrial and marine,
including the green sea turtle
Cetaceans: principal focus on the
breeding ecology of the Humpback Whale
Invasives: including the historical
spread of human-introduced Mynahs and domestic cats
The One-Credit Course: This seven-day-long
field trip will associated with a one-credit course for the
student participants. The activities and tone of the trip will
be fun and exciting, including
coral-reef snorkeling, and whale watching. But the trip will
also include periods of careful observation and study.
Critical evaluations will occur through discussions within our group
and with local experts. Student evaluations will occur via
brief oral presentations and short writing assignments. This
work will commence while we are in Hawaii, and it will continue
during four class meetings when we are back at Canisius. The one-credit grade will be awarded in the
Each student's portion of the total cost will be $1950.
(Students should anticipate additional costs
associated with required snorkeling gear, plus the cost of meals
Space in this project will be allocated
competitively and limited to 11 students.
Applications can be
downloaded by clicking
Written applications are due on 28
There will also be a required swim-safety
test (in KAC), and a physical fitness test (Churchill Tower
The CAC-Hawaii team will
be announced 6 October 2018.
The $1950 payment will be due on 9
Payment should be provided as a check,
made out to "Canisius College."
This payment is not refundable.
So each student should consider obtaining their own travel insurance.