Tropical Ecology & Conservation

CIEE’s Tropical Ecology & Conservation program offers a unique experience for biology undergraduates who wish to expand their educational experience by immersing themselves in the tropical ecosystems of wild Central America. Students reside at a biological station in the heart of the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica, participating in courses that examine the biodiversity of tropical environments, the significance of different biomes, and the ways that humans fit into the balance of life in the tropics.

Twice during the semester, students embark on a two week field trip; the first takes them up the pacific coast, from the virgin jungles of Corcovado to the wilds of Santa Rosa National Park. The second sees the students leaving Costa Rica and journeying into Panama, to observe the beautiful coral reef and island ecosystems of Bocas Del Toro.

The students also participate in Spanish immersion classes, with no more than five students per instructor, and experience the unique culture of Costa Rica in a month-long homestay.

All of this experience culminates in an independent research project that the students carry out during their homestays. Each student works with a faculty advisor to perform an experiment and compose a scientific paper on a topic of the student’s choosing. At the end of the semester, the students present their research in a scientific Symposium open to the public, and many seek publication of their research.

This program is rigorous and immersive, and it offers students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience and study some of the oldest, most unique ecosystems on the planet. Visit the CIEE website for more information, and apply now!

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