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Students

Let us organize your field trip to Costa Rica

We can reduce the stress of organizing a trip with your students!  With three full-service research stations, a dedicated staff, and decades of experience with our own courses traveling throughout Costa Rica and with obtaining the research permits, we are perfectly suited to help you have a memorable course. 
 
We have assisted hundreds of faculty members throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe by arranging everything from one-week field-trips to full courses. 
 
We can design the perfect itinerary for you that will fit your needs and interests; we will arrange the logistics and obtain the necessary research permits that will allow you focus on the science and provide the necessary hands-on instruction to make your course unique experience. 
 
Our goal is to enable you to share the excitement of biology by giving you the unique opportunity to showcase Costa Rica’s rich ecological and natural diversity.

About Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s rich biological diversity, political stability (no army since 1948), and exceptional conservation history make it an ideal place to experience the fauna and flora of the tropics with your class. OTS’ programs are recognized for their academic rigor and for their hands-on field-based approach to teaching tropical ecology, conservation biology, and research design. Costa Rica’s diverse natural setting serves as a living classroom for the courses.

Costa Rica’s protected area and national park system- representing one quarter of the country- has served as a world model for conservation. Its dramatic terrain and tropical climate have created an extraordinary diversity of tropical ecosystems ranging from lowland rain forest to high-elevation Páramo. Our world-renowned field stations offer unique opportunities introduce students to the tropics and to conduct high-level research in three diverse ecosystems.

Areas in which we have proven expertise

  • Suggested Educational Destinations
  • Program design and itinerary
  • Research permits
  • Reservations throughout the country
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • International transportation
  • Airport pickup in Costa Rica
  • Transportation throughout the country
  • Organized meals as needed throughout the country
  • Naturalist guides at OTS sites and other locations throughout the country
  • Access to OTS classrooms, laboratories, computers, science libraries, herbarium specimens, etc.
  • Field Problems for small groups (one day or longer) at OTS sites
  • Biological faculty and guest lecturers
  • Fees at national parks and other destinations

Students

Sites we can book for you

OTS sites:

  • La Selva Biological Station: 1,613 hectares of tropical wet forest connected to Braulio Carillo National Park. La Selva is recognized as one of the world’s leading centers for research, education and natural resource management in the tropics.
  • Las Cruces Biological Station and the Wilson Botanical Garden: the most important collection of plants in Central America. Las Cruces has an associated 160 hectare tract of old growth mid-elevation forest, surrounded by an agricultural landscape, and much of the research at the station focuses on fragmentation and restoration ecology.
  • Palo Verde Biological Station: it provides access to tropical dry forest and wetlands. Palo Verde Biological Station is the heart of Palo Verde National Park, it is surrounded by semideciduous tropical dry forest, an ecosystem considered by some to be the most endangered of all tropical ecosystems.

Other possible sites in Costa Rica:

  • Hotels in San Jose
  • Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Pacific beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula
  • Cuerici Biological Station
  • Tortuguero National Park
  • Cahuita, Gandoca, Manzanillo National Parks
  • Corcovado National Park
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • La Amistad National Park

What we offer at our stations?

  • Extensive and well-marked trails
  • Small group field projects
  • Expert lecturers
  • Housing and dining services
  • Researcher services
  • Laboratories, library, class and work rooms
  • Online geographic information system
  • Meteorological data
  • Digital flora database
  • Additional tours in the surrounding area

Benefits of bringing students to Costa Rica

  • Develop an appreciation for the biodiversity and complex biological interactions found in the ecosystems of Costa Rica.
  • Develop an understanding of the interaction between the flora and fauna of Costa Rica and the culture, economic needs, and conservation efforts of the people of Costa Rica.
  • Gain hands-on experience in developing field projects and testing hypotheses in the tropics.
  • Utilize decades of on-site research as background information to guide the studies of your students.
  • Access to decades of research to help your students get the background information needed to guide their studies
  • Spend more time in the field by living in your study area
  • Conduct individual and group field research projects using resources in the field and the lab
Students

Some institutions we have and continue to assist

  • Tufts University
  • Kent State University
  • University of St. Thomas
  • Dartmouth College
  • Capital University
  • Lane Community College
  • University of South Dakota
  • Tulsa Community College
  • Lehigh University
  • Hartwick College
  • Wheaton College
  • Michigan State University
  • Penn State University Behrend Campus
  • Harvard University
  • Occidental College
  • Stanford University
  • And many more

Contact us for a Sample Itinerary

For More Information contact:

E-mail: info @ tropicalstudies.org
or contact Jonathan Giles: jonathan.giles @ tropicalstudies.org
Telephone: (919) 684-5774
Fax: (919) 684-5661

If you already are familiar with our program and want to start planning the course, contact:
Group Services: facultyledgroups @ tropicalstudies.org
Telephone: (506)2524-0607 ext: 1330
Fax: (506) 2524-0608

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