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Program Information:

Title
QUICK FACTS
Location Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Academic Term Summer B-Term
07/27/2019 - 08/27/2019
*These dates have changed since the program was first advertised. If you have questions contact the Program Director.
Estimated Program Fee $4,950
Credits 10
Prerequisites There will be a seminar in the Spring quarter that meets approximately once a week for 80 minutes to prepare for the course. The purpose of the seminar is to introduce students to each other and to the points of view and economic interests of different stakeholders in aspects of land use and conservation. Each week for the first half of the Spring term we will meet to introduce the geography, economics, natural history and ecology of Costa Rica. Using specific case studies we will look at the juxtaposition of economic development and conservation of natural resources. In particular, we will examine the effects of the growing ecotourism industry on Costa Rica's natural resources, economy and culture. We will also discuss logistics of travel, safety, responsibility, and accommodations in Costa Rica. 
Program Directors Moon Draper | mdraper@uw.edu
Jon Herron | herronjc@uw.edu
Program Manager Ruby Machado Shields | studyabroad@uw.edu
Priority Application Deadline January 31, 2019
Extended Application Deadline February 15, 2019
Information Sessions Thursday, Nov. 15, 12:30 p.m. (MGH 211 - Honors Seminar Room) Monday, Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m. (MGH 211 - Honors Seminar Room) Friday, Jan. 18, 12:30 p.m. (MGH 206)
HIGHLIGHTS
General For the famously-biodiverse lands of Costa Rica, policies of land conservation and sustainability are incredibly important. Through this program, students will gain a greater appreciation for the rich natural regions of Costa Rica, discovering what is at stake and needs to be protected. Through excursions to reserves, national parks and research institutes, students will gain first-hand experience with the issues surrounding ecological research, sustainable agriculture, ecotourism development and conservation. Students will also learn directly from Costa Ricans about their livelihoods, particularly in relation to land management.
 

Program Description

The Honors Costa Rica course “Land Use Issues in Rainforest Conservation” is designed to expose students to many of the concerns that must be addressed in public policy regarding conservation and sustainable land use, both locally and at a national scale, in a country renown for its biodiversity and its extensive system of public and private reserves. Students will gain real-world understanding of ecological research, sustainable agriculture, ecotourism development, and the complexity of conservation issues in a field setting. Students will learn about land management practices and will talk with Costa Ricans about their livelihood and community. Program students travel to several national parks, private reserves, and research institutes within Costa Rica. Program components include: 1) Introduction to CR and tropical forests at Serena Field Station in Corcovado National Park on the Osa peninsula. 2) Tour country by bus: southwest coastal slopes the lowlands/grazing lands of Guanacaste the dry tropical forest of Santa Rosa Rincon volcanos and Arenal the Caribbean lowland coast of Cahuita 3) Course work and farm /coffee plantation visits 4) Monteverde Cloud forest and independent project work/presentation Students will maintain a journal throughout the program, both to log events and learning experiences and to record external and internal observations. The group will travel together to field stations and small hotels, sharing charter bus rides and most meals (provided). As the program moves about the country, students will prepare each other for upcoming experiences with small presentations concerning geography, economics, sociology, and civics.
 

LOCATION

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Sites

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Housing

Students are housed in both rural and urban settings. In San Jose the group is housed at a hotel known for its quality. The group will then spend a week in a rural jungle setting at a field camp / research facility. The remainder of the program housing is spent at an NGO Field station (CATIE). All lodging has security guards, lockable rooms, and dining facilities.

ACADEMICS

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Prerequisites and Language Requirements

There will be a seminar in the Spring quarter that meets approximately once a week for 80 minutes to prepare for the course, HONORS 382, Introducation to Land Use and Conservation in Costa Rica.

Credits

10 UW Quarter Credits

Courses

Honors 382: Land Use Policy in Costa Rica (5 credits) NW/I&S, “W”

This course is designed to expose students to many of the concerns that must be addressed in public policy regarding conservation and sustainable land use, both locally and at a national scale, in a country renown for its biodiversity and its extensive system of public and private reserves. Students will gain real- world understanding of ecological research, sustainable agriculture, ecotourism development, and the complexity of conservation issues in a field setting. Students will learn about land management practices and will talk with Costa Ricans about their livelihood and community. We will travel together to several national parks, private reserves, and research institutes within Costa Rica. The group will stay together in field stations and small hotels, sharing charter bus rides and most meals (provided).
 

HONORS 213: Independent Study (5 credits) NW, “W”

Each student will arrive in Costa Rica prepared to discuss three topics: a particular organism likely to be seen, the history and general description for one of the stops, and a current socio-economic issue. Each stop will involve a “What would you guess?” assignment before learning about the local topic, and a follow up: “What did you learn?” assignment. There are two themes throughout the course: the notion that for each issue there are many stakeholders to consider and that quite often (almost always) a compromise is needed to address the issue. Students will gather data in the form of observations, interviews, experiences, and research to formulate suggestions for how the issue might be resolved. In the past, these issues have involved water usage, labour utilisation in the coffee agriculture and the evolving ecotourism trade (Costa Rica’s largest export). Individual students will keep a journal, give oral presentations on natural history and tropical ecology, and prepare written briefs as we explore different points of view. Student teams will focus on specific issues and document, analyze and communicate their results in a final presentation.

 

HONORS 382: Introduction to Land Use and Conservation in Costa Rica (2 credits Spring Quarter Seminar (Time and day TBA) credits) NW, “W”

The purpose of the seminar is to introduce students to each other and to the points of view and economic interests of different stakeholders in aspects of land use and conservation. Each week for the first half of the Spring term students will meet to introduce the geography, economics, natural history and ecology of Costa Rica. Using specific case studies students will look at the juxtaposition of economic development and conservation of natural resources. In particular, we will examine the effects of the growing ecotourism industry on Costa Rica’s natural resources, economy and culture. Discussion of travel logistics such safety, responsibility, and accommodations in Costa Rica will be addressed. Assignment 1: Individual reflection (submit online). Assignment 2: Pairs of individuals research an agricultural crop or economic issue in Costa Rica (e.g., bananas, coffee, oil palm, pineapple, fisheries, dairy, meat, sugar cane) Topic/group selection second week, brief presentations on during weeks 6 & 7. Assignment 3: Flora/Fauna. Individual research on the life history & ecology of a species [“critter paper”] in Costa Rica (Documents will serve as reference/resources for all of us when we’re in Costa Rica). Topic selection during the third week, submit on Canvas by the 8th week. Assignment 4. Group study, brief written summary and annotated bibliography/references plus oral presentation (e.g., group powerpoint) of an economics issue in Costa Rica, to be investigated as it relates to conservation and ecotourism. Example topics are: national economy and productivity, social systems such as health care and education, government agencies and national parks, indigenous peoples, agriculture and sustainability, environmental quality issues, electricity and energy issues, fishing and maritime economies. lectures, films, and discussions.
 

 


 

PROGRAM LEADERSHIP

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Moon Draper
Biology, Biology

Draper is a Senior Lecturer in the Biology Department and a natural sciences educator. He received his PhD in Biology at the University of Texas and has led students to Costa Rica through the University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Draper has worked with students, researchers, and travelers in Costa Rica since 1998. He teaches courses for UW Honors including “Medical Ethics”.
mdraper@uw.edu

Jon Herron
Biology, Biology

Herron is a Senior Lecturer in the Biology Department, writer, and educational software designer. He earned his PhD from the University of Washington. His textbook, Evolutionary Analysis, is now in its 5th edition. He collaborates with SimBio Software on their EvoBeaker suite of virtual laboratory exercises and has served on the faculty at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. Herron has been teaching for the Honors Program—and learning from his students—since 1996. His courses, which cover evolution, genetics, and human behavior, help students learn to think like scientists.
herronjc@uw.edu

 

 

FINANCES

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Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $4,950

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $500)
  • Food (about $20)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money


Payment Due Date: August 9, 2019

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.

Scholarships

  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at goglobal@uw.edu to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.

APPLICATION CONSIDERATIONS

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Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.

Orientation

To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Visas

UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html.

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting: https://www.state.gov/s/cpr/32122.htm.

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at disability.uw.edu.

Withdrawals

$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.