summer session I

Costa Rica

Coffee and Chocolate: A Taste of Sustainability


This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Costa Rica.

Major academic themes include:

  • Coffee and cacao ecology
  • Social and economics impacts of coffee and cacao crops
  • Organic and mono-crop farming methods
  • Land-use strategies
  • Social justice issues surrounding sustainable food systems


On the Coffee and Chocolate: A Taste of Sustainability program, you will take one 4-credit course. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This course is taught in English.

Click on the course to view a description and download the syllabus

SFS 3141 Coffee, Chocolate, and Sustainable Development 4 credits

Field Skills

You will practice valuable skills in the field which may include: agricultural impacts assessment, research design and implementation, water quality testing, songbird mist-netting, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, approaches to carbon sequestration, research presentation, and Spanish language skills.


You will visit different ecosystems and communities while in the field, which may coffee farms, cacao plantations, other agroecosystems and farms, agrotourism businesses, and the forests and rainforest ecosystems around agricultural areas.

Spend your summer with SFS!

Get more out of your SFS experience when you take two summer sessions with SFS. More time to explore the ecosystems and communities, more time to learn about the complex environmental issues, and more time to learn essential field skills. Sessions feature different course topics and field excursions and you will have time to travel independently between sessions.

Costa Rica Session II: Fundamentals of Sustainability Research

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All program components are subject to change.