International Education

O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2889

Office hours
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

In-person and virtual advising hours
Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4 p.m.

Walk-in advising hours
Mon - Thurs: 1 - 3 p.m.

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843

A person on an overlook at a waterfall in Costa Rica.

Tropical Field Ecology in Costa Rica

Walk on the wild side with a hands-on trip to Costa Rica. Students will explore the region’s tropical ecosystems through a three-credit, field-based course in Tropical Field Ecology (BIO 4900). The goal of the 10 day-long field-based course is to expose students to the diverse ecosystems of the tropics including rainforests, mangrove wetlands, floodplains rivers, and tropical dry forests.

Students snorkel rocky reefs, and travel by plane, bus, boat, raft and horseback to experience the beauty and biodiversity of this small but amazing country.

We travel to Costa Rica once per year. The Summer program dates TBD.

For more information contact:
Scott Tiegs
(248) 370-2695

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Where You Will Be

Students will stay in hotels, biological preserves, and while in Costa Rica in different regions of the country, including Dominical, Guanacaste, and Sarapiqui. Costa Rica is a fairly small country, but supports a remarkable diversity of different types of ecosystems. It’s also one of the most safe and affordable locations available to students.

What You Will Do and learn
What you will do

Students will explore rainforests, tropical deciduous forests, active volcanoes, mangrove swamps, and rivers. In the past, students watched a mother sloth nurse its baby, held tree frogs that were smaller than houseflies, and touched fruit-eating bats. They also snorkeled, hiked for amphibians at night, and went white-water rafting.

All these experiences lead to a better appreciation of how interesting and beautiful natural, intact tropical forests can be.

What you will learn

Students will obtain an immediate and impressionistic understanding of ecology that just isn’t possible in the classroom or lab. For example, students may see more than 50 different species of birds during a single outing.

What To Bring

A detailed list of what to bring will be provided by the instructor.

The approximate cost for this trip is $3,400, which includes airfare, all meals, lodging, park entrance fees, transportation (buses, boats, rafts, horses), and an experienced naturalist guide.


Tropical Ecology in Costa Rica
 April 2019

Number of credits: 3 (tuition not included in program cost)
Program cost: $3,400
Application deposit: None
Meals not included: included in program cost
Excursions: included
Airfare: included
Books and supplies: included
Extra costs: passport, personal incidentals, $30 Costa Rica exit tax