Experience a semester of sustainability in Costa Rica, home to rainforests, volcanoes, rushing waterfalls, and a laid-back culture that reflects the national motto: “Pura Vida.” Explore the country’s many diverse parks, farms, and reserves to learn how Costa Ricans have balanced conservation and development issues. Wrap up the semester in the field, collecting data for your research project.
SFS students live and study at the Center for Sustainable Development Studies. The Center is an active organic farm overlooking the vibrant Central Valley, where green is the predominant color as far as the eye can see. Dorms and classrooms intermingle with orchards and gardens, while Center dog Hera keeps watch over it all. The friendly town of Atenas is a 10-minute cab ride away, offering restaurants, shops, parks, and cultural events.
- Explore the cloud forests of Monteverde, home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, to study hummingbird ecology and sustainable land management.
- Take an expedition to Panama: Explore Panama City and the canal before heading to the cloud forests and coffee plantations of the Chiriqui Highlands.
- Tour a local coffee farm and a sustainable permaculture homestead to learn how Costa Ricans have successfully combined agriculture and conservation.
- Develop field skills including: GIS songbird mist-netting, plant identification, Spanish language, research design, data collection, scientific writing and presentation
- Conduct research in some of the following areas: Agroforestry and permaculture, carbon sequestration, sustainable ecotourism, hummingbird ecology and behavior, urban ecology, national park management