Semester

Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies

Panama

01020304050607080910

About

Get into the field!

Defining key island systems, both natural and human, and how they interface is the focus of this marine and terrestrial program. Through field observations and research, students identify the pressures on the environment and social systems, and evaluate the responses by local stakeholders and policymakers. Interviews with residents reveal local livelihood strategies, approaches to surviving in a tourism-based economy, and use of natural resources, which help students to assess the sustainability of terrestrial and marine resource use.  The program provides a foundational knowledge of the interdependence of the livelihood strategies of island residents, population structure of key species, and habitat arrangements and conditions. Equipped with this, students then apply sustainability principles to identify potential management strategies. Lectures by Panamanian and international researchers, government officials, and community stakeholders provide additional social, economic, and policy context for environmental management in the region.
 

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

Semester


Location

Provincia de Bocas del Toro - Panama


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

Panama SFS Web (65)

What You'll Study


  • Marine and terrestrial species identification
  • Impacts of tourism on humans and the natural environment
  • Assessment of ecosystem health
  • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
  • Impact of policy enforcement on local communities and environment
  • Resource management
  • Ecology of terrestrial and marine species important to tourism
  • Conservation and management strategies

What You'll Practice


  • Terrestrial, marine and coastal species identification
  • Insect and amphibian trapping for population monitoring
  • Quantitative & qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Environmental-impact and protected-areas assessments
  • Research design, implementation, and communication
  • Tourism impact assessment methods
  • Language (Spanish)

Student Research Projects


  • Effect of disturbance as an indicator of rainforest species diversity and habitat suitability
  • Impacts of habitat and biodiversity loss due to human activities
  • Changes in marine species abundance and diversity in proximity to Bocas Town and the Bastimentos Marine Protected Area
  • Viability of poison dart frogs in fragile ecosystems affected by anthropogenic factors such as habitat loss, land-cover changes, and a warming climate
  • Knowledge about the tourism sector in Bocas del Toro and how it is supported and actively managed by local stakeholders
  • Livelihood strategies of residents, such as fisheries, ecotourism, agriculture, ranching, and forestry; and decision-making processes of families that extract natural products for subsistence and income generation


LEARN MORE

Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies


Panama

Students attending this program will be based at the SFS Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Click here to find out more about the Center and life at the field station.

Amber Glass

Amber Glass

Admissions Counselor
Explore

Related Programs

Turks & Caicos Islands

Marine Resource Studies
Fall 2017
Closed
August 28 - December 6
Spring 2018
Open
January 29 - May 9
Fall 2018
Open
August 27 - December 5

Costa Rica

Sustainable Development Studies
Fall 2017
Closed
August 28 - December 6
Spring 2018
Open
January 29 - May 9
Fall 2018
Open
August 27 - December 5

Peru

Biodiversity & Development in the Amazon
Spring 2018
Open
January 29 - May 9
Fall 2018
Open
August 27 - December 5

Cambodia

Conservation, Ethics, and Environmental Change
Fall 2017
Closed
August 28 - December 6
Spring 2018
Open
January 29 - May 9
Fall 2018
Open
August 27 - December 5

Panama

Tourism and Island Systems: Assessment of Sustainable Practices
Summer 2018
Open
June 4 - July 4

Turks & Caicos Islands

Applied Marine Research Techniques
Summer 2018
Open
July 9 - August 8
01
02
03
04
05
06