Semester

Sustainable Development Studies

Costa Rica

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About

Get into the field!

Experience a semester of sustainability in Costa Rica, known worldwide for its innovative conservation and economic development strategies. This program examines different models that Costa Rica uses to balance biodiversity conservation with socioeconomic benefit, especially in rural areas. Students examine the effects of globalization on development issues such as agriculture, urban sprawl, population growth, waste management, and water quality. Students compare the SFS Center farm with other sustainable farms in the region through an ecosystem services assessment approach.

Students visit cloud forests, dry forests, volcanoes, lowland rainforests, farms, and plantations as they explore environmental policies and sustainable solutions in the context of the environmental changes facing Costa Rica.
 

Language:
Coursework is taught in English
Credits:
18
Prerequisites:
One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science

Semester


Location

Provincia de Alajuela - Costa Rica


Fall 2017

August 28 - December 6

Closed

Spring 2018

January 29 - May 9

Open

Fall 2018

August 27 - December 5

Open


Sample Itinerary

Price

Tuition:

$16,950

Room & Board:

$5,000


?   Total Cost:

$21,950

Apply Now
Apply for SFS Financial Aid
About

Academics

field-skills-costa-rica-semester

What You'll Study


  • Climate change and tropical ecosystems
  • Land-use practices congruent with conservation
  • Tourism sustainability
  • Sustainable agriculture and climate change mitigation
  • Carbon sequestration strategies
  • Socioeconomic and environmental impacts of tourism
  • Environmental justice and environmental ethics

What You'll Practice


  • GIS use and applications
  • Habitat and biodiversity assessment
  • Research design, implementation, and presentation
  • Forest soundscape techniques
  • Songbird mist-netting
  • Quantitative & qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Tourism impact assessment methods
  • Language (Spanish)

Student Research Projects


  • Carbon sequestration and biodiversity impacts of agroforestry systems such as shade-grown coffee farms
  • Impacts of artificial feeders on hummingbird ecology and behavior in the cloud forests of Villa Blanca
  • Changes in management practices and policies in Costa Rica’s national parks in response to increased tourism
  • The effects of road noise on chestnut-backed antbird communication
  • Ecotourism: The challenges of implementing sustainable practices while traveling


LEARN MORE

Center for Sustainable Development Studies


Costa Rica

Students attending this program will be based at the SFS Center for Sustainable Development Studies in Atenas, Costa Rica. Click here to find out more about the Center and life at the field station.

Amber Glass

Amber Glass

Admissions Counselor
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