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Education Abroad

ESF Faculty-led, Short-term International Academic Courses

ESF offers several faculty-led, short-term international academic courses throughout the academic year. Since the courses are offered by ESF, students enroll in the course directly with the college and credits and grades earned appear on students’ transcripts. Most courses will meet a few times throughout the semester and travel over spring break or following the end of the semester.

Short-Term International Course Offerings

Spring 2019

Travel over Spring Break

ERE 311/511 Ecological Engineering in the Tropics in Costa Rica

Course Highlights & Facts:

  • Students will study and create ecological engineering designs that include appropriate technologies and permaculture approaches for the sustainable delivery of water, food, energy, and health resources.
  • Students will complete 5 homework assignments prior to leaving for Costa Rica to build core knowledge and be ready to use ecological engineering principles on the weeklong field trip.
  • Students will spend several days in a stunning rural setting at Rancho Mastatal with trips planned to tropical forests and waterfalls, coastal mangroves and beaches, fruit and chocolate farms, and a volcano.
  • Students will complete all course requirements before returning to ESF from spring break, so this course should not interfere with other spring semester courses during March and April.
  • Fees for the course are estimated at $1,400, which includes in-country lodging, travel, and meals, but does not include airfare to Costa Rica.
  • Enrollment is limited to between 12 and 16 students to justify, but not exceed, use of the in-country facilities.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Timothy Morin.

EFB/FOR 523 Tropical Ecology in Ecuador

  • Learn Tropical Ecology in the Amazon rainforest and high Andes of Ecuador over Spring break.
  • Explore the principles of tropical ecology, nature conservation, and sustainable resource management during an intensive field study in Ecuador over Spring break and in weekly on-campus meetings during the Spring semester.
  • Learn about theories explaining the high biological diversity of the tropical terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in some of the most biodiverse places on our planet (the Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot and Yasuni Biosphere Reserve). Our main base in Ecuador is at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station, deep in the rainforests of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, but our field explorations include diverse tropical ecosystems across the Andes (from 300 to 4,000 m above sea level): tropical dry forests, cloud forests, paramo, montane tropical forests, and lowland rainforest with aquatic whitewater river and lagoon ecosystems.
  • We will canoe and hike in the wilderness where one can observe elusive giant river otters, river dolphins, arapaima, tapir or jaguar, as well as ten species of monkeys and countless bird, insect, and plant species.
  • The ability to swim and a fee covering travel and lodging in Ecuador are required. The course has a 25 year tradition (since 1992), with field trips to the Caribbean until 2017 (see here).
  • Prerequisites: one year of college biology and a general ecology course. [3 credits; counts toward EFB field experience]

Questions? Please contact Dr. Martin Dovciak and Dr. Donald Stewart.

FOR 404 - Ecotourism Abroad in Peru

  • Five 1-hour lectures plus 9- to 10-day field trip.
  • This service learning course introduces students to the field of ecotourism through a short-term study abroad program held during spring break.
  • Students will travel to several ecotourism destinations within a selected country, meet with destination managers, and complete a service learning project related to ecotourism.
  • Additional fees required to cover cost of travel and lodging during field portion of course.

Questions? Please contact: Dr. Diane Kuehn

Summer 2019

Travel in May following the end of the semester

EFB 500 Invertebrate Conservation Biology in Palau: From Ridge to Reef

  • This course will introduce students to the complexities of the conservation biology of invertebrates in a small country.
  • We will emphasize the similarities and differences in doing conservation biology in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats.
  • We will review foundational concepts in ecology and evolution as they relate to conservation biology, and will touch upon the interplay of geology, anthropology, geopolitics, and economic that have conspired to make the Republic of Palau such an interesting place.

Questions? Please contact: Dr. Rebecca Rundell.

Past International Courses

FOR 404 Ecotourism Abroad in Nicaragua

EFB 500 Tropical Conservation Biology - Field Research in Peru

EFB 500 Biophysical Field Methods in Namibia

EFB 500 Visitor Education as a Wildlife Management Tool in Yellowstone National Park

LSA 496 Field Work in Urban Ecosystem Design in Spain

EFB 434 Ecosystem Restoration Design in Mexico

Applying to an ESF Short-Term International Program

Students interested in participating in an ESF International Program must submit the International Program General Application and the Judicial Review Form to the course program leader (contact information appears below with course descriptions).

Upon acceptance into the program (prior to departure), students must submit a completed set of SUNY-ESF International Academic Program Student Forms with a copy of their passport, visa (if applicable), health insurance, and flight information (if the program does not include a group flight).

Additional Information