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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options. If you have already started an application for this program, please use the LOGIN (USD applicants) or NON-USD LOGIN (non-USD applicants) link above.
  • Locations: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Short-term Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Short-term Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Short-term Summer 2019 02/15/2019
02/20/2019 05/07/2019 05/18/2019

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 2.0 USD Scholarships: Arts and Sciences International Opportunity Fund
Language Prerequisite: None Language of Instruction: English
Click here for a definition of this term Program Advisor: Søren Peterson Academic Level: Graduate, Undergraduate
Academic Year: Freshman, Graduate, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Program Description:


Scientist house at La Selva Biological Station. By Felineora [CC BY-SA 3.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons

Through this program, you will learn about the development of hypotheses and implementation of ecological studies in a tropical system and gain practical experience with sampling methodology. Data analysis, presentation and discussion skills will also be important components of the course.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the basic physical and ecological forces structuring biotic communities in the study area
  • Develop skills related to designing and implementing ecological field studies in freshwater and terrestrial habitats
  • Have an understanding of the techniques used to sample natural communities and assess organismal responses to altitude
  • Identify a wide variety of organisms including birds, rodents, plants, and invertebrates

Program Dates:

  • Course Term: Summer
  • Travel Dates: May 7-18, 2019

For More Information:

Click on the tabs above for information about academics (course listing, syllabus, registration), accommodation, expenses (cost estimate, payment schedule, scholarships and financial aid), application instructions, contacts, and resources.




Title: BIOL 417/517 Field Ecology
Cross-listings: none
Credits: 3
Download syllabus: BIOL 417/517


BIOL 151/153 or equivalent


After admission to this program, CAGE will register you in the course you indicate on the Course Registration Form in your application. You will not be able to register yourself in WebAdvisor.



Participants will stay in shared accommodations arranged by the program.



Program Expenses

Wondering how much it's going to cost? See Budget Sheet for information about total program costs, payment schedule, and the withdrawal and refund policy.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

How am I going to pay for it? See our Financial Assistance page for a list of USD and external scholarships.

To inquire about using federal financial aid to help toward the expense of this program, contact the Office of Financial Aid as early as possible (non-USD students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution). NOTE: To be eligible for federal financial aid for this program, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits during the summer.

Are you a senior planning to graduate in May prior to participating in this program? To be eligible for USD scholarships—such as the Arts & Sciences International Opportunity Fund or Farber Fund—or other financial aid, you will need to change your graduation date to the end of summer.



Application Instructions

Applications—including all required pre-decision materials and recommendations—must be submitted online by the deadline specified in the Dates/Deadlines section on this page. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. To start an application, click the Apply Now button on this page. If the Apply Now button does not appear, applications are either not open yet, or it is past the deadline.

If you have started an application already, use the LOGIN (USD applicants) or NON-USD LOGIN (non-USD applicants) link on this site to return to the materials.

Eligibility Requirements

This program is open to students of all majors.

This program is open to applicants from any institution, although preference will be given to USD students.

All applicants must be in good academic and judicial standing at their home institution. For other eligibility requirements, including minimum GPA and any language prerequisites, refer to the Fact Sheet on this page.



Faculty Leader

Jacob Kerby is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of South Dakota. He teaches a variety of ecological courses, including tropical ecology, and conducts research on the causes of amphibian declines worldwide. In addition, he has an ongoing research project at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. He has previously led programs to Costa Rica and Mexico and has extensive international travel experience.

Contact Us

For questions about the course content and program site, contact the faculty leader, Jacob Kerby.

For general inquiries and questions about the application process, course registration and billing, contact Søren Peterson in the Center for Academic & Global Engagement. To schedule an advising session with him, visit Coyote Connections (Get Assistance -> Study Abroad -> Faculty-Led Programs).



For information about immunizations and health precautions, refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After you have been admitted to this program, you will be required to complete a travel physical with a healthcare provider such as Sanford Vermillion.


This program is currently not accepting applications.