Faculty Leader: Simeon Kotchoni (simeon.kotchoni@rutgers.edu), Department of Biology

Travel Dates: March 13, 2015 – March 22, 2015

Class Meeting Times: Class meetings for Camden students to be arranged.

Course Number: 50:120:360, 56:606:613:I3

Program Cost: Approximately $2995*

This program will introduce students to innovative research on whole systems of botanical biodiversity. The focal point of the course will involve an interdisciplinary research collaboration between students at Rutgers University and the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin, West Africa.

Biodiversity is under assault on a global basis. About ten percent of the world’s bird species and twenty-five percent of mammals are currently under threat of extinction. One percent of the world’s tropical forests is lost each year. In Benin, many beneficial interactions between the people and their environment–including the use of plants as drought indicators, in traditional medicine (ethnobotany), and in ritual and religious practices–are rapidly disappearing.

This program will introduce students to basic research in botanical biodiversity, with a wide range of beneficial applications in seasonal weather prediction, agricultural sustainability, and plant-based pharmacology. Students will have a rare opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research in a field where very little previous work has been done. During the travel portion of the program, students will participate in tours and social activities that will introduce them to the cultural life of tropical, sub-Saharan Benin.

**Students from New Brunswick and Newark Campuses can also register for this class and will attend the sections/class activities online. The online setting will be set by the Instructor via dropbox in Sakai. The online attendance, class activities and reports will be set accordingly and the students will get information about proceedings from the instructor via sakai.

*Prices subject to change

To apply for the Benin Learning Abroad Program click here: