2019 Honors in Costa Rica

2019 Honors in Costa Rica

Toucan

Land Use Issues in Rainforest Conservation

Overview

Location: Costa Rica: Puntarenas (Osa Peninsula), Guanacaste (Liberia, Tilaran, Arenal), Alajuela (Monteverde), Limon (Cahuita, Indigenous villages of the BriBri), Cartago (Turrialba)

Dates: Summer B Term 2019: July 27 to August 23, 2019

 

Course Credits Credit Type
HONORS 382 5 Honors Interdisciplinary  (NW / I&S) “W”
HONORS 213 5 Honors Science  (NW) “W”
Honors 382 2 Honors elective, does not count toward core requirements. Spring quarter prep seminar.

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)

About the Program

About the Program

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:

Monkey in Trees
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.

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.

 

Program Credit / Course Description

HONORS 382 (NW, Honors elective. Does not count toward Honors core requirements.) “W” – 2 credits Spring Quarter Seminar 

Introduction to Land Use and Conservation in Costa Rica

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.

 

HONORS 382 (NW & I&S)  “W” – 5 credits

Land Use Policy in Costa Rica

Rainforest Frog
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 (NW) – “W”  5 credits

Independent Study

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.

Program Leadership

Program Leadership

DIRECTOR

Moon Draper, Honors Program,  Biology Department

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”.

 

Co-Director

Jon Herron, Honors Program, Biology Department

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.

Program Expenses

Program Expenses

The costs listed includes tuition via concurrent enrollment fee and all housing and excursions.

Students are responsible for most meals, airfare, study abroad fee, and insurance.

Program fee: $4,500

UW concurrent enrollment fee: $450

Average Airplane Ticket: $500

Daily out of pocket food costs (approx): $20

Payment Schedule:

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.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable UW Study Abroad Fee $450 July 5, 2019
Program Fee Balance $4,500 July 5, 2019
TOTAL FEES CHARGED $4,950

Making the program affordable

The Honors Program is passionate about study abroad and the incredible impact it can have on a student’s life.  Don’t assume you can’t afford to study outside of the U.S. Here are resources to help you get started on your global adventures!

Honors Program Scholarships

The Honors Program offers a number of scholarships for current Honors Program students. These scholarship funds may be used for UW approved study abroad programs or exchanges. Students may apply beginning in late January (deadline is March 30).

Study Abroad Scholarships at UW

Every student who applies and is accepted to a study abroad program is considered for a scholarship. Scholarship awards are dependent on need and students may be awarded up to $4,000. Visit the study abroad office in 459 Schmitz Hall to learn more or click here.  Students may also email goglobal@uw.edu for an advising appointment.

There are several outside resources for study abroad scholarships. Visit the UW’s Study Abroad Scholarship page for more information on scholarship support as well as information about GET funds and how you may apply the GET to your study abroad costs.

Using Financial Aid for Study Abroad

You may find more information about using your existing financial aid for study abroad on the Study Abroad Office’s Financial Aid webpage.  In general, all financial aid awarded may be used to support study abroad. Exceptions to this include tuition waivers, work-study awards, or scholarships that are specific about using the award for tuition (although there may be flexibility with some scholarships, please check with the financial aid office). Tuition waivers and work-study are never allowed for study abroad.

Revision of Need

You may also turn in a “Revision of Need” form with the Financial Aid Office if you have a FAFSA on file.  Once you are accepted to a study abroad program, visit the Study Abroad Office to obtain a budget for your study abroad program then complete the Revision Request and turn in both the budget and the revision request to the Office of Student Financial Aid in Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Financial Aid Study Abroad Funding Website for more information about applying for Summer quarter financial aid and for information about Exploration Seminar financial aid timeline (different than A or B term financial aid disbursement timeline).

Application Process

Application Process

This program is open to students in the Honors Program and also students across campus. The program is focused on recruiting a diverse group of students.

Acceptance into the program is decided based on application materials, interviews, and student’s demonstrated motivation to challenge themselves intellectually across academic disciplines and cultures and to work collaboratively in small groups.

There are no prereqs or language requirements. Students will do some light hiking and lots of walking.

APPLY HERE

Deadline: January 31, 2019

 

Deadline: January 31, 2019

APPLY NOW!