For questions about this program, please contact:
Mary Roman Gunther
The winter program The Economics of Biodiversity in Costa Rica runs for 11 days in January. The tentative dates for 2013 are Jan 7 – 17. The program is designed to give students the opportunity to experience the vast biodiversity of Costa Rica and study firsthand the impacts of ecotourism. Costa Rica’s incredibly diverse ecology makes it truly unique on our planet. Starting in Tortuguero—nesting ground of sea turtles— we will begin to explore the many different habitats of Costa Rica. A visit to La Selva Biological Station will acquaint students with research happening in real time. In Monterverde students will experience the rain forest canopy via zip lines and hanging bridges. In Manuel Antonio National Park we will find an amazing collection of plants and animals against a backdrop of beaches and forested bluffs. Before returning to San Jose we will stop in Sarchi a town known for artisans and local crafts.
CLASSES: BIOL 105-901 – Study of the Economics of Biodiversity in Costa Rica. This course is designed to help both biology majors and non-majors appreciate the biodiversity of the planet using Costa Rica as an example. The emphasis will be on the methods used to conserve biodiversity while developing the economy. We will examine the methods used on the ground in Costa Rica by visiting national parks, research, agricultural and cultural facilities. Students will develop an understanding of how complex conservation can be. Students will develop or sharpen their skills of scientific observation through guided activities and time on their own to observe. They will maintain a Journal, answering directed prompts as well as recording their own impressions of the day’s activities. In addition to science, the course will include large measures of language, culture, art, history, and a general appreciation for Costa Rica and her people. There will be assigned reading to be completed before traveling to Costa Rica and a paper due after we return from the field. The readings and paper assignment will be posted on the course website and discussed in country. There are no prerequisites for the course and it is open to all university students however priority will be given to Biology and Environmental Studies majors.
EXCURSIONS: Included in the program are admission fees to Braulio Carrillo, Tortuguero, La Selva, Monterverde and Manuel Antonio national parks. There is also a boat excursion through Tortuguero Canals, a guided tour of La Selva Biological Station, a canopy adventure tour and a sky walk on suspension bridges in Monteverde. As we travel between destinations we will make stops at places like a banana plantation and other opportunities as they arise.
HOST INSTITUTION: The program is a private tour designed by Professor Gunther in conjunction with EF Customized Tours. Professor Gunther has traveled with EF many times and found them to be professional and to provide excellent service in Costa Rica.
HOUSING: All overnight stays will be in hotels with private bathrooms. We will spend two nights each in San Jose (first and last night in country), Tortuguero, Sarapiqui, Monterverde and the Central Pacific Coast. The names and websites of all hotels will be provided to students and their families before departure.
COST: Cost is estimated to be $2800. A final cost will be determined early fall 2012. The price includes tuition, airfare, transfers in country, all meals, housing, tour guide, bus driver, admissions to all parks and excursions and insurance. A passport is required for this trip and must be valid for three months before departure – which means you must have a valid passport by October 2012. This is the responsibility of the student and is not included in the program cost above.
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: The application deadline is September 27, 2012. The program will be limited to 25 students. After the first 25 students are admitted and have made their deposited, any additional applicants may be placed on a waiting list. In addition to the online application, interested students should submit the following directly to the email of the program director: