PANAMA SEMESTER: TROPICAL ISLAND BIODIVERSITY STUDIES
- Terms: Fall, Spring
- Credits: 18 semester-hour credits
- Prerequisites: One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science; 18 years of age
- Application Deadline: Rolling admissions. Early applications encouraged
- Financial Aid: All accepted students can apply for need-based scholarships, grants, and loans
Spend a semester in the dynamic community of Bocas del Toro, where everything – from the thriving underwater ecosystems to the rich green rainforests – seems more alive. Go behind the scenes in this “paradise” as you study the impacts of tourism and development on the island system’s unique habitats, evaluate local environmental policies, and apply the principles of sustainability and conservation to your research project.
- Go snorkeling among coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, and other marine ecosystems to learn about life beneath the waves.
- Tour cacao and coffee farms and banana plantations to gain an understanding of how diverse forms of agriculture affect coastal environments and local economies.
- Venture into the rainforest for field lectures on biodiversity, climate change, interspecies competition, and habitat modification.
THE FIELD STATION:
SFS students live and study at the Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies, a onetime beachfront hotel that sits among the slender palms and warm sands of Isla Colón lies the Center. At this idyllic field station, you’ll take your classes in the waves of the Caribbean and the surrounding rainforests. The laid-back tourist hub of Bocas Town is a short taxi ride away, with access to shops, restaurants, and a vibrant culture that is as unique as the mix of people who live here.
- Marine protected areas
- Rainforest biodiversity assessment
- Tourism impacts
- Ecosystem monitoring
- Community livelihoods
- Perceptions of conservation
- Species identification
- Tourism impact assessment
- Spanish language
- Research design
- Data collection
- Scientific writing and presentation
CONNECT WITH SFS
Visit the SFS website
Call the Admissions Hotline at 800.989.4418
Read updates from the field on the SFS Blog
Follow SFS on Instagram
Watch student videos on YouTube