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  • Locations: Atenas, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: The School for Field Studies (SFS) 
  • Restrictions: WFU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2021 08/15/2021 08/16/2021 08/30/2021 12/10/2021
Spring 2022 01/01/2022 01/15/2022 01/31/2022 05/13/2022
Fall 2022 03/15/2022 03/15/2022 TBA TBA
Spring 2023 10/15/2022 10/15/2022 TBA TBA
Program Description:

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT STUDIES,

COSTA RICA

PROGRAM DETAILS
Terms: Fall, Spring

Credits: 18 semester-hour credits

Prerequisites: One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science; 18 years of age

Application Deadline: Rolling admissions. Early applications encouraged

Financial Aid: All accepted students can apply for need-based scholarships, grants, and loans

OVERVIEW
The program examines different development and resource management models that Costa Rica uses to protect the biodiversity of its ecosystems while promoting socioeconomic benefits for its people. Students will examine the effects of globalization on development issues such as agriculture, biodiversity protection, economic development, urban sprawl, population growth, waste management, and water quality.

Visits to cloud forests, dry forests, volcanoes, lowland rainforests, farms, and plantations offer opportunities to examine management schemes, identify benefits of protected areas, and determine which systems offer the best options for economic development, the maintenance of cultural norms, and the preservation of biodiversity.

 

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Take an extended field expedition to Nicaragua to compare and contrast development and resource-use issues: hike the volcanoes of Isla Ometepe; explore the rich cultural history of Granada; and study impacts of tourism in the region

 Visit several national parks to investigate the pressures of ecotourism on small gateway communities and learn about tropical forest ecology

 Explore the biodiversity and cultural significant of cloud forest habitats such as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

 
DIRECTED RESEARCH
Through Directed Research (DR)—as opposed to basic, applied, or independent research—students conduct research on a specific topic that is part of the SFS Center’s long-term strategic research plan, which has been developed in partnership with local community stakeholders and clients.

  The course, taught by resident SFS faculty, provides students with the opportunity to apply the scientific process in a mentored field research project that addresses a local environmental issue. Through the DR project, students contribute to a growing body of scientific research that informs local conservation and resource management decisions.