This Summer: Two Costa Rica Field Opportunities!

This summer, SEFS doctoral student Robert Tournay will be co-leading two different programs in Costa Rica through UW Tacoma: a month-long field course in ecology and community (12 credits), and a month-long internship in sustainable agriculture and conservation (5 credits).

The courses are hosted through UW Tacoma, but they are open to all UW students—and the credits should be transferable to SEFS. So check out the two opportunities below, and contact Robert if you have any questions!

Microsoft PowerPoint - Presentation1Costa Rica Field Studies: Ecology and Community (TESC404)
Summer B-term (July 23 – August 20); 12 credits

UW Tacoma’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and the Office of International Programs are pleased to offer a field course abroad, Costa Rica Field Studies: Ecology and Community, during Summer Quarter 2016. The program will introduce students to issues in tropical ecology and sustainability, focusing on sustainable agriculture. This 12-credit course is centered around a three-week stay in and around the rural village of Mastatal, in the Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica. Students stay in communal bunk facilities at a local environmental sustainable field station for part of the program; to round out the experience, the program also devotes time to exploring the coastal environment in and around Manuel Antonio National Park, a few hours to the west, the coffee producing region, and the spectacular Osa peninsula in the south.


Costa Rica: Sustainable Agriculture and Conservation in the Tropics (TESC 496, Internship)
Fall Quarter, but travel dates are August 21 – September 18; 5 Credits

La Iguana Chocolate Farm Internship, Mastatal, Costa Rica
Come experience the breathtaking natural beauty and rich cultural history of Costa Rica while exploring the connection between sustainable agriculture and conservation. You will spend a month living and working on La Iguana Chocolate farm assisting the Salazar family in crafting their hand-made chocolates. This is a true tree-to-truffle experience, and you will participate in each step of the process, including harvesting the cacao pods, the fermenting, drying and roasting of the cacao beans, and the making and packaging of their chocolates.

Microsoft PowerPoint - Presentation1La Iguana Chocolate is located in Mastatal (population approximately 150), a rural farming community nestled into the foothills above Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, and bordering the majestic La Cangreja National Park. One of only a handful of chocolate farms in Costa Rica, La Iguana Chocolate is dedicated to organic chocolate production in a sustainable manner that benefits the family and their community, while conserving their natural resources and protecting the incredible biodiversity in the area.

During your program you will, through hands-on experience, gain a deeper understanding of the general principles and practices of sustainable agriculture in the tropics, and gain specific knowledge on the small-scale production of organic chocolate from cacao. Through working at La Iguana Chocolate, and interacting with Salazar family and the community of Mastatal, you will broaden your awareness of the traditions and heritage of the Costa Rican culture. You will examine the connection between land-use and conservation through assigned readings, two on-site lectures led by the course instructor, and guided hikes in the rainforest of La Cangreja National Park. Upon your return you will conclude the course through participation in group discussions, and the completion of a reflection paper.

For more information, visit UW Tacoma Study Abroad.