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  • Locations: Pacuare Reserva, Costa Rica; San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Maymester
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Maymester 2019 10/31/2018 11/30/2018 05/14/2019 05/28/2019
Fact Sheet:
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Program Type: Faculty-led Area of Study: Marine Science
Eligibility: 18 years or older at time of departure, GPA: 2.5 College: College of Science
Language of Instruction: English Scholarship Opportunities (not exhaustive): American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) Scholarship, CCU College of Science Study Abroad Scholarship, CCU Honors Program Global Enhancement Award, Clara Carter Higgins Scholarship, Explorers Club Exploration Fund Grants, Gilman International Scholarship, Hagan Scholarship, Horry County Higher Education Commission International Awareness Award, International Education Financial Aid, LIV Fund, Marilyn and David Domke Study Abroad Scholarship, Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant, The Jane Gluckman and Carol Rausch "Go Global" Scholarship
Program Description:
The "Sea Turtle Biology" faculty-led program offers a suite of courses (lecture, laboratory, and internship) taught in Costa Rica at the Pacuare Reserva, and courses are designed to highlight the main topics of sea turtle biology including:
  -  sea turtle evolution
  -  phylogeny
  -  current conservation status
  -  reproduction
  -  nesting and hatchling development
  -  orientation and navigation
  -  habitat utilization and migration
  -  health problems and diseases
  -  environmental and anthropogenic disturbances, and much more!

The stunning location along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is one of the most important nesting beaches for the Atlantic Leatherback Sea Turtle "Dermochyles coricea". This location at this time of the year ensures exposure of students to nesting females as well as emerging hatchlings. Outside of the classroom, the program enables a very hands on approach with research and conservation activities on each life history stage. Students will also explore the surrounding tropical rainforest, home of howler monkeys, sloths, toucans, iguanas, leafcutter ants, dart frogs, and a host of other species. After our stay at the Reserva, we travel to Earth University, spend a night lodging under an active volcano, and end with a rafting trip down the world renowned Pacuare River which completes the cycle as it spills back into the sea at the border of the Reserva. 

Students are required to perform a four-hour watch every other night. During this time, students will walk a stretch of beach looking for turtles. Students should be comfortable walking for up to four hours on a sandy beach at night.