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Natural History of the Neotropics
Ladyville, Belize; Sittee River Village, Belize; Tikal, Guatemala (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: WinTerm
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets WinTerm
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA: 2.0
Class Eligibility: Freshman, Junior, Senior, Sophomore Housing Options: Field Station
Language Courses Offered: No Internships Available: No
Faculty Led: Yes Exchange Program: No
Program Description:


Overview   Eligibility   Academics

Logistics   Program Cost   Faculty Leader


In this program, students will gain an understanding of the patterns and processes that yield hot spots of biodiversity in Belize and Guatemala while learning to appreciate the need for their conservation. Time will be spent studying coral reefs and rainforests under the direction of native guides at two rustic field stations. Students should be prepared for a very active itinerary. In the end students should have gained an understanding and appreciation for modern Belizean cultures as well as the earliest Mayan inhabitants.

Location: Belize and Guatemala

Located in the tropical zones of the American continent, the Neotropics contain a diverse set of species and ecosystems, as well as a broader range of interactions compared with other tropical regions of the world. Its two coasts and its mountainous system, which provides numerous and varied microclimates, contribute to the land’s natural wealth, both in terms of species and ecosystems.

The weather in Central America is warm and generally pleasant this time of year but varies greatly and can sometimes be unpredictable. Be prepared for rain an
d sunshine! Expect 70-80 degrees this time of year.


Freshman status at time of participation
Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
Prerequisites: Participation in snorkeling workshop. This workshop is offered post program acceptance.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive 4 credits for:
BIO-270, Natural History of the Neotropics

This course will help students fulfill university requirements in the following areas:

• Natural science with a lab
• General education category B
• Global perspective requirement

Grading will be based upon exams, participation in online discussions and assignments, field journal while abroad, species account and individual research.



Accommodation: Students will be housed in cabins at Possum Point Field Station and Wee Wee Caye Marine Lab. In some scenarios, there is no air conditioning or heat, but conditions should be quite comfortable this time of year.

Housing at Maya Mountain is a bit more modern, with electricity, running water, ai
r conditioning and limited Internet access. There are no in-room bath facilities, but common bath/shower facilities are available for men and women.

Housing at Black Orchid will be the most comfortable of the trip. Rooms are air conditioned with in-room bathroom and showers, and Internet access.

Meals: Daily meals are provided at each location. Food costs are already built into the program fee. Please notify the faculty leader or the Office of International Education of any specific dietary needs or restrictions.

Travel: Group flights will be purchased for all students. Flight costs are already included in the program fee. The faculty leader will accompany the students on the flight.

Passport: All students must have a valid U.S. passport for entrance into Belize and Guatemala. The current passport fee is $135. If you already have a U.S. passport, be sure to check the dates of validity. It must be valid for at least six months beyond the return date to the U.S.

Visa: Immigration fees will be assessed for departure/return from Guatemala as well as upon final departure from Belize. The current departure/re-entry fee from Guatemala is $30; departure from Belize is $20. Please note these fees are subject to change. If you are not a U.S. passport holder the requirements may be different for you. Please contact your consulate or the Office of International Education for more information.



The final program cost will be determined by the number of participants, shortly after the application deadline. The program cost includes instructional fees, health insurance, housing, meals, cultural activities, in-country transportation, snorkeling workshop and airfare.

port fees, visa fees, and personal expenses are not included in the program costs and are paid directly by the students.

See budget sheet for cost details. Win-term financial aid needs to be applied for separately. For more information, meet with a financial aid counselor in 210 Bowman Hall.

ghjghFaculty Leader Information

Professor: Michael Bessert
Phone: 715.232.2559 or 715.232.2562
Office: 325 JHSW or 331D JHSW


This program is currently not accepting applications.