Costa Rica: Tropical Field Studies
This unique field study course gives students hands-on experience in the ecology of tropical rain forests. Tropical Field Studies will explore the physical and biological factors that result in the formation of these forests, and their impressively high biodiversity. We will explore some of the key animal and plant players in these ecosystems and their complex interactions. We will also consider the effect of human impacts on these forests, and how development processes affect local communities. Teaching methods will include faculty and guest lectures by local experts, natural history introduction walks, and field research projects.
By completing this Intensive Course Abroad, students will:
- 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.
- Obtain knowledge of tropical ecology through field studies in tropical forests in different life zones.
- Develop an understanding of the challenges faced by tropical forest managers in light of modern development pressures.
- Develop the student’s awareness of the increasing threat to the world’s biodiversity due to ongoing destruction of the tropical forests.
Credit/Registration: Students will be registered for Tropical Field Studies ENVS 323 / ENVS 523 for 3 credits as part of their fall term course load. Students must leave room for the 3 credits in their fall credit load when registering for fall term, or will be billed for credits exceeding the 20 credit maximum. Graduate students will be billed for 3 Drexel credits at their normal rate.
Instructor: Sean O'Donnell, Professor in Drexel's Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Arrival Date: September 10, 2017
Departure Date: September 23, 2017
*Students may extend their travel independently before or after program dates.
Itinerary Overview: Daytime and night time field trips and observation periods
Day 1:Travel to Costa Rica; Orientation; Introduction: Tropical ecosystems
Days 2 - 6: San Luis Valley - mid-elevation seasonal tropical forest; agro-ecology; community development
Days 7 - 9: San Gerardo Field Station - mid-elevation tropical wet (rain) forest
Days 10 - 13: Monteverde Could Forest Reserve - high-elevation (cloud) forest
Day 14: Program wrap up and departure to US
Due May 1st: $500 Advance Payment + $25 application fee
Due July 1st: $1,370 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.
Scholarships Available: A $400 scholarship will be awarded to several students accepted to the program. Students will be selected based on level of financial need. Scholarship funds will be applied to the final program fee payment.
Included in Program Fee:
- 13 nights lodging
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Ground transportation, including airport pickup and drop-off
- Park entrance fees
- Field supplies
- Cultural activity
- On Call Emergency Insurance
Not Included in Program Fee:
- R/T airfare to Costa Rica (approx $850)
- Passport ($135)
- Meals on arrival/departure days ($30)
- Course materials ($200)
- Spending money (approx $100)
- Graduate students billed for 3 Drexel credits
- US Citizens are not required to obtain a visa for entry to Costa Rica. Students of other nationalities should confirm visa requirements on the Costa Rica Embassy website.
- Students will be responsible for making their own flight arrangements. A suggested flight itinerary will be provided. Students should arrive as early as possible on Day 1 of the program, as the scheduled activities begin that day.
- The currency of Costa Rica is the "colon" (plural "colones").