Experience first-hand the global nature of biology and witness the diversity of the tropics and our cultural differences. You’ll have the unique opportunity to study the tropical biology and biodiversity of one of the best available examples of tropical forests in Central America.
Travel to several sites in Costa Rica and see a vast range of habitats and life forms in a tropical setting. You’ll make observations and conduct experiments in low, mid and
Excursions will include outings to natural areas that exemplify many of the major ecological regions of Costa Rica, including:
Lowland tropical forest
Coastal wetland areas
Coral reef systems
Our small-class environment will help you learn, through their own experiences, topics that most students only read about.
The program consists of two undergraduate courses, and the requirements of each course will be similar to on-campus courses. Textbooks and other source materials will be used, and examinations/presentations will be administered covering lectures, reading and field excursions.
Biology 4381 Field Ecology
Learn how to design, conduct, analyze and report on ecological investigations. The taxonomic focus will be on birds, terrestrial arthropods and plants.
Biology 4381Introduction to Tropical Biology
Learn the physical characteristics of the tropics and the biological uniqueness and complexity of tropical ecosystems.
Biology 6381 Advanced Field Ecology
Learn how to design, conduct, analyze and report on ecological investigations. The taxonomic focus will be on birds, terrestrial arthropods and plants. With guidance from the instructor, graduate students will be expected to design and carry out their own investigations at a Costa Rican field site.
Biology 6381 Tropical Ecology
Study and observe the characteristics of tropical ecosystems and variations within.
All travel arrangements will be made by the faculty directors and approved by the university. Students will be extensively briefed prior to departure regarding travel arrangements and schedules with addresses and telephone numbers given to each participant.
All program participants must have adequate health and accident insurance coverage in case of medical issues or emergencies. Students will be required to obtain health insurance that will provide medical and related benefits. The CIS will ensure that all students have completed their study abroad paperwork prior to departure.
To be eligible for an ASU study abroad program, students must meet these requirements:
Completed at least 24 credit hours of coursework in residence or by transfer at the time of application. Dual credit hours do not count toward this total.
A cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 at the time of application
Current students must have at least a 3.0 GPA
Newly accepted students must have at least a 2.75 undergraduate GPA
The program will be co-directed by Dr. Michael Dixon, Associate Professor of Biology and Dr. Ben Skipper, Associate Professor of Biology.
Dr. Dixon has previously taught study abroad courses in Costa Rica including successful programs in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. This will be Dr. Skipper’s first study abroad course, although he has traveled in the Central American tropics.