|Language of Instruction:||English||Minimum Cumulative GPA:||3.0|
|Eligible Majors:||All Engineering Majors, All Science Majors||Type of Program:||Study Tour|
|Program Advisor:||Ahaji Schreffler|
The ProgramThis unique field study course gives students hands-on experience in the ecology of tropical rain forests and dry forests. Tropical Field Studies will explore the physical and biological factors that result in the formation of these forests, the effect of human impacts on these forests, the effectiveness of management of these forests and the future of these forests. Processes will be studies in Costa Rica in the field using national parks and reserves as laboratory sites. All students majoring in either sciences or engineering are eligible to apply.
AcademicsThe prerequisite to the Tropical Field Studies program is completion of Tropical Ecology ENVS 322 / ENVS 722. All field studies coursework will be completed on-site in Costa Rica. While in Costa Rica, students will make observations of species, record data on ecosystems and record reactions to the tropical environment in their journal. Nightly discussions will review information gathered each day. Students will compare and contrast observations in the tropical dry forest and tropical rain forest. Students will be directed and overseen by Professor James Spotila, PhD, Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Science at Drexel.
Tropical Field Studies Objectives:
- To gain a first-hand experiential understanding of the environmental factors that contribute to the formation of tropical forests and the ecological principles that govern their function.
- To obtain knowledge of tropical ecology through field studies in tropical dry and rain forests.
- To develop an understanding of the challenges faced by tropical forest managers in light of modern development pressures.
- To develop the student’s awareness of the increasing threat to the world’s biodiversity due to ongoing destruction of the tropical forests.
Grading & Registration
In conjunction with the program, students will be registered for a course Tropical Field Studies ENVS 323 / ENVS 723 for 3 credits. Students will be graded for the course and grades will be factored into Drexel GPA.
Next trip scheduled for spring break 2014.
Proposed Itinerary: Daytime and night time field trips and observation periods
- Day 1- Arrival in Costa Rica and orientation - Introduction to tropical ecosystems
- Day 2- Arenal Volcano - Ecological succession and rainforest
- Day 3- Transect between Playa Grande and La Fortuna, Costa Rica
- Day 4- Dry forest and marine ecosystems - Las Baulas Park
- Day 5- Dry forest and environs - Santa Rosa Park
- Day 6- Mesic forest - Diria National Forest Reserve, Santa Barbara Community
- Day 7- Humid mountain forest - Rincon de la Vieja Park
- Day 8- Review and return to the US.
Approximate Program fee: $1,000Payment 1 due with application: $50 non-refundable app. fee + $500 deposit
Payment 2 due within 2 weeks of acceptance: $500
Graduate students will be billed for 3 credits per their normal tuition rate.
All program fee payments are refundable if not accepted or program cancels from low enrollment.
Included in the program fee:
- 7 nights lodging
- Group meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Ground transportation, including airport pickup and drop-off
- Park entrance fees
TravelStudents will be responsible for making their own round trip flight arrangements into Liberia airport (LIR) in Costa Rica. Students should arrive as early as possible on Day 1 of the program, as the scheduled activities will begin that day. Students will be picked up at the Liberia airport upon arrival.
Lodging will be arranged for 5 night s at Goldring Marine Biology Station and for 2 nights at a hotel in Arenal Volcano area. All meals are included in the program fee.
American and Canadian students are not required to obtain a visa for this trip. Students of other nationalities should confirm visa requirements on the Costa Rica Embassy website.
The currency of Costa Rica is the "colon" (plural "colones").
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