The study abroad program in Costa Rica, offered after the conclusion of the spring semester in odd-numbered years, provides biology and photography students at FHU with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the incredible biodiversity of the Costa Rican rainforest. Students move from the classroom to the rainforest and replace textbooks with toucans as they spend two weeks studying and photographing local wildlife.
The group stays at the Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, where they explore trails through 1,250 acres of tropical rainforest, canoe on one of the property’s three lagoons, and take excursions to neighboring villages. The program supplements the curriculum of two courses offered the spring semester before departure: BIO 299G/399G Field Research and ART 299C/399C Special Topics in Photography.
Imagine what you could do with just a camera and a plane ticket to Costa Rica. The trip allows students to practice a variety of styles including wildlife, portrait, landscape, and architectural photography. The photography group visits the nearby agricultural towns of Pital and Boca Tapada and spend a few days on the Pacific coast, where they can interact with the local population and capture on film the unique ecological and cultural heritage of disparate parts of the country. Whether you are taking the photography course or not, pack your camera, because you won’t want to miss these moments!
Biological science students experience unique hands-on learning opportunities in Costa Rica that are found nowhere else in the world. The rich biodiversity of the region—attributed to the dramatic shifts in terrain including wetlands, mountains, rivers, and arid plains—allows students to research and observe diverse wildlife within their natural habitats. This part of the Mesoamerican Corridor connects important biological hotspots in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
While trekking through the untouched primary rainforest and nearby managed lands in knee-high rubber boots, our students observe and conduct research on turtles, caiman, and other fauna native to the San Carlos River. They are also able to observe parrots, toucans, poison dart frogs, coatimundis, and monkeys—and maybe even the rare tapir or the endangered great green macaw!
Both the biology and photography groups visit one of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes, Volcán Poás, if the crater observation area is open to the public. Both groups also participate in a four-hour canoe trip on the San Carlos and San Juan Rivers along the border with Nicaragua.
Josh Barber, B.A., M.A.
Office of International Education
Joy Simon McDaniel House, Room 4
Jud Davis, B.A., M.A., M.A., M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Art
The Studio, GC Basement
Brian Butterfield, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Department Chair, Professor of Biology
Anderson Science Center, Room 110
Lee Barton, B.A., M.Ed., M.S.
Instructor in Biology
Associates Science Center, Room 126
158 East Main Street
Henderson, TN 38340
FHU / Dickson
FHU / Memphis
5565 Shelby Oaks Drive
Memphis, TN 38134
855 Highway 46 South
Dickson, TN 37055
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