New Zealand Ecosystems

COURSE CREDIT: 4 Credit Hrs

COURSE LEVEL: 300

In this  field-based ecology course students not only explore New Zealand's facinating terrestrial and near-shore marine ecosystems, they also undertake a terrestrial ecosystems research project.  In addition to studying New Zealand ecosystems this course is also designed to help students scientifically apprehend a broad understanding of global environmental issues.

Course Faculty

Dr. Calvin DeWitt - Terrestrial Ecosystems & Ecosystems Research Project (Uni. of Wisconson, WI)

Dr. Calvin DeWitt - Terrestrial Ecosystems & Ecosystems Research Project (Uni. of Wisconson, WI)

Cal is a scientist, writer, and conservationist who enjoys sharing his interest and enthusiasm for the environment and for earthkeeping. He loves to teach in the classroom and field and is particularly interested in serving Christian colleges and universities across the continent and globe in environmental stewardship. His work is directed at building bridges between environmental science, ethics, and practice. Cal's backyard zoo, begun at the age of three with his first turtle, was the start of his life's work on living things and their environment. After growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and teaching at Calvin College and the University of Michigan he left for Wisconsin in 1972 and now inhabits Waubesa Marsh, 8 miles south of Madison. Here, all the animals are free to move over and about a glacial drumlin island that emerges from the marsh to hold his house ("Oak Knoll") above water-- there to keep him, his wife Ruth, and Cleo the cat high and dry. Early in his career as a professor in Michigan he found that, across the country and around the world, the animals he was studying were having their habitats taken away. This brought him to contribute to the development of Au Sable Institute, to prepare hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students for environmental careers, to do wetlands research that integrates across the disciplines, to probe environmental beliefs, and to reach out to help people incorporate environmental integrity into their worldviews and beliefs. He loves to lecture on caring for Creation and has given campus-wide convocation lectures at more than 100 U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities. He has brought his message worldwide through travels to China, Korea, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Laurie Furlong - Marine Ecology & Stream Ecology (Northwestern Uni., IA)

Dr. Laurie Furlong - Marine Ecology & Stream Ecology (Northwestern Uni., IA)

An environmental scientist, Dr. Furlong holds a doctorate in ecology, evolution and marine biology. Her research and publications have been in the fields of stream ecology, entomology and biogeography, and she has experience as a biological consultant. Furlong teaches Introduction to Environmental Science, General Biology, Invertebrate Zoology and Aquatic Ecology at Northwestern College, Orange CIty IA.. She has also been a stream ecology and Marine ecology instructor in both the Belize and New Zealand programs.

Dr. Beth Horvath - Marine Ecology (Westmont College, CA)

Dr. Beth Horvath - Marine Ecology (Westmont College, CA)

Beth Horvath--Assistant Professor of Biology, Westmont College (Santa Barbara, California); Research Associate with SB Museum of Natural History; degree in marine biology, primarily an invertebrate zoologist.

Current research--The taxonomic standing of numerous forms of gorgonian coral across the eastern Pacific. With that elucidated, issues of gorgonian ecology are next for study, as gorgonians create important “forests” on the sea floor for all manner of invertebrate and many forms of commercial fish. Deep sea forms are becoming the “hot ticket” of study, as more becomes known about global climate change and how that is impacting the deep sea.
In the marine ecology segment of “New Zealand Ecosystems,” we will be looking at specific examples of the various types of relationship that occur: between marine organisms, between those organisms and their abiotic environment and between those marine organisms and the humans that utilize their environment in all manner of ways. Our manner of interaction with the marine environment will be crucial to sustained living on this planet; we need to alter our interactions so that they are far more sustainable, “earth friendly” and clearly bear witness to the great gift of life, in all its forms, that our Creator has blessed us so richly with.

I adore reading, but ONLY read books when printed on paper!! No e- books for this gal!
I think that invertebrates are even MORE interesting than vertebrates and hope you will find their diversity as intriguing and as exciting as I do.

Dr. Eli Knapp – Ecosystems Research Project (Houghton College, NY)

Dr. Eli Knapp – Ecosystems Research Project (Houghton College, NY)

Dr. Eli Knapp teaches courses in Human Ecology, Wildlife Behavior, Conservation Biology, and Swahili at Houghton College, in New York, and in Tanzania, East Africa, where he direct the Houghton-in Tanzania Study Abroad Semester Program every spring.  His interests lie in the interactions between humans and the environment, especially around protected areas.  Eli has studied human-environment relationships most extensively in East Africa and lived in Serengeti National Park, in Tanzania, for three years.  While there, he endured daily torment from the resident baboons who, at various times, entered his car and house, helping themselves to  solar shower, cereal, Cheetos, and Tortilla chips.  He’s exacted revenge on several occasions, drenching them with water from large mud puddles as he drives past, and putting stale flour outside his house.  Through rigorous scientific study, he’s discovered that upon eating flour, baboons go into asthmatic fits and sneeze for several hours.  When Eli’s not battling baboons, he enjoys teaching his son about birds, trying to make his daughter smile, and kayaking.

Dr. Dave Lundquist - Marine Ecology (Costal Marine Research Group, Massey University, NZ)

Dr. Dave Lundquist - Marine Ecology (Costal Marine Research Group, Massey University, NZ)

Dr. Lundquist's research interest is in evaluating the long-term effects of anthropogenic disturbance on marine mammals.  He completed his PhD in Environmental Science in May 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Neil Gemmell at the University of Otago.  His project examined the short- and long-term effects of tourism on dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) at Kaikoura, New Zealand.  Additional supervision and advice were provided by Prof. Bernd Würsig, Prof. James Higham, and Asst. Prof. Steve Dawson.  Prior to his PhD, Dr. Lundquist completed an MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University, supervised by Prof. Bernd Würsig.  His thesis examined the effects of swim-with-whale tourism on southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) at Península Valdés, Argentina.  Dr. Lundquist has collaborated with a number of colleagues on studies investigating the ecological impact of human activity for a variety of species, including sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Gulf of Mexico and New Zealand, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in Hong Kong, gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) in Far East Russia, and fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) in New Zealand.  He also contributes data and expertise to the Large-scale Whalewatching Experiment (LaWE), an initiative of the International Whaling Commission which aims to establish sustainable levels for whalewatching.

Dr. Joe Sheldon - Terrestrial Ecosystems & Tropical Forest Ecology (Messiah College, PA)

Dr. Joe Sheldon - Terrestrial Ecosystems & Tropical Forest Ecology (Messiah College, PA)

High school in St. Helens, Oregon; B.S. The College of Idaho (biology); Ph. D the University of Illinois (Entomology).  Thirty six years of college teaching at Eastern College and Messiah College (both in Pennsylvania).  Summer teaching faculty of Au Sable Institute of Environmental science (1987-2007) Received outstanding teaching awards at both Eastern and Messiah College.  Received the Conservation Educator of the Year, Classroom Category, for the state of Pennsylvania in 1998.  Served as President of the American Entomological Society (1991-1997) and President of the American Scientific Affiliation (1998-1999).  Board Member of the Evangelical Environmental  Network (2004-2007).  Chairman of the Academic Committee of the Creation Care Study Program (2004-2007).  Presented invited expert testimony on the Endangered Species Act for the House Committee on Resources (2004).  Participant in the first Scientists-Evangelicals Retreat in 2006 at The Melhana Plantation, Thomasville, GA., sponsored by the Center for Health and the Global Environment, (Harvard Medical School) and the National Association of Evangelicals.   Author of numerous articles on insect ecology; science/religion focusing on stewardship of Creation; and two books – Rediscovery of Creation: A Bibliographical Study of the Church’s Response to the Environmental Crisis, 1992, The American Theological Library Association ATLA Bibliography Series, No. 29 and The Scarecrow press, Inc; Redeeming Creation: The Biblical Basis for Environmental Stewardship, 1996.  Inter Varsity Press, Co-authored with Van Dyke, Mahan, and Brand.  Retired to Whidbey Island, WA June 2007.  Board Vice Chair for Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship (2009-present).

Dr. David Warners – Terrestrial Ecosystems & Tropical Forest Ecology (Calvin College, MI)

Dr. David Warners – Terrestrial Ecosystems & Tropical Forest Ecology (Calvin College, MI)

David Warners grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from Calvin College with a major in biology and chemistry in 1985. Dave earned a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in Botany from the University of Michigan. Between graduate degrees Dave and his wife Teri lived and worked for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Tanzania from 1990–1992.   He has been teaching ecology, botany and research courses at Calvin for 16 years while doing research with students in the areas of conservation, restoration and plant evolution.  Recently he has been involved in a community initiative in Grand Rapids to help churches become involved in improving the health of an urban stream and its surrounding watershed, work that has included reintroducing native habitats into urban and industrial areas.  Dave has taught several classes at Au Sable Institute as well as both CCSP campuses and loves the opportunities these educational experiences provide for facilitating experiential learning while engaging in a mutually affirming community of Christian stewards. Dave enjoys a variety of outdoor activities with Teri and their three children, including camping, gardening and cooking.  He is also quite fond of his big tall red Schwinn Varsity bicycle, which he rides as much as he possibly can.

Dr David Foster - Tropical Forest Ecology & NZ Ecosystems (Messiah College, PA)

Dr David Foster - Tropical Forest Ecology & NZ Ecosystems (Messiah College, PA)

David Foster is Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at Messiah College. He has studied the vegetation of the world from Pennsylvania to the Desert Southwest, the Pacific Northwest, the jungles of Belize and Guatemala, the tropical forests of Amazonian Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, and the Gondwannan temperate forests of New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina. His lifelong interests center on how native peoples use plants for food and medicine. He grew up in the northern Wisconsin along the shores of Lake Superior and has spent more than 3 years living outdoors. Dr. Foster has a BS in Biology (Eastern University, 1990); a MS in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development and a PhD in Botany (University of Wisconsin- Madison 1993, 1998). Dr. Foster also teaches for AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies (1997-present), The Creation Care Studies Program (1999-present) and is a member of the Society of American Foresters.

Jody Weir - Marine Ecology (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Victoria, British Columbia)

Jody Weir - Marine Ecology (Ph.D. Candidate, University of Victoria, British Columbia)

Jody is a Canadian but now calls Kaikoura home.  Her research experience in marine ecology, animal behavior, and primatology include a long term study (2004 - present) of the marine animals found off Kaikoura, New Zealand, and a newer study (2009 - present) of the wild lemurs inhabiting Maromizaha Forest, Madagascar. Specifically, she is interested in the developmental processes that all mammals go through from birth, when they are dependent on their mothers entirely, to independence.  She is also interested in the types of strategies employed by mothers and how these compare between species, habitats and individuals.  Since 2001, she has been involved in the development and delivery of conservation and behavioral ecology education programs for universities, secondary and primary schools. She also works with local communities and villages to develop sustainable community projects in the areas where she conducts her research.  Currently, she is the Co-Founder and Research Director for KORI (Kaikoura Ocean Research Institute),  a network of marine researchers and educators in Kaikoura who:  1) Conduct meaningful scientific research on the Kaikoura marine environment and the animals that live within it, 2) Contribute towards the creation of a local database of marine animal sightings, to be used by local, national and international researchers and students, and 3) Integrate local marine research into the community through school programs, field courses and public events.