Course Faculty

Ceiba field courses are led by instructors with years of experience conserving, researching, and teaching about tropical ecosystems.  Commonly, our faculty take a break from their research programs or conservation activities to instruct field courses, lending their practical and up-to-date expertise to their students.

Catherine Woodward, Ph.D.

Dr. Woodward holds a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and an M.S. in tropical botany from University of Florida, and is a board member and curent President of Ceiba.  She has conducted research and traveled extensively in Ecuador and throughout Latin America for over 20 years.  For her master’s degree she studied soil disturbance effects on tropical tree seedling growth in reforested areas along the Maxus oil company road in Yasuní National Park.  Her current research interests include the impacts of forest fragmentation on plant population genetics and reproduction.  She has worked with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, conducting field research on birds in forest fragments.  She has an extensive knowledge of tropical ecology and has taught many field courses in Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador.

Catherine is a lead instructor for the Tropical Conservation Semester, Water for Life: Sustainability & Community Health, and Marine Biology of Coral Reefs programs.

Joe Meisel, Ph.D.

Dr. Meisel holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin and an M.S. in wildlife ecology and conservation from the University of Florida, and is a board member and current Vice-President of Ceiba.  He has worked in Central and South America for over 25 years, studying the effects of habitat alteration on native and migratory birds and evaluating the impact on tropical wildlife of land use conversion.  He has led numerous summer and semester field courses in Panama, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, has worked in Panama with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and is the author of Orchids of Tropical America: An Introduction and Guide.  His research interests include the foraging behavior of Neotropical army ants and ant-following birds in forest fragments, the dynamics of wildlife in fragmented landscapes, and GIS modeling of species and diversity distributions.

Joe is a lead instructor for the Tropical Conservation Semester program.