Costa Rica Field Course

"According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the "greenest" country in the world." - Wikipedia

Over Spring Break 2020, the School of Earth, Society and Environment will embark on its seventh field expedition to Costa Rica. The course will count as advanced hours in the major (rubric ESE 389, section CR) and will consist of an 8 day trip to Costa Rica over Spring Break with weekly seminars on campus during the regular semester. The course will examine environment and sustainability issues in Costa Rica. Coverage includes: rainforest ecology, land-use issues, sustainable agriculture, developing economies, and geologic features of the landscape (e.g., volcanoes; rivers). Restricted to ESES majors and Unit One residents; non-majors can apply to the waitlist (email rkanter@illinois.edu).

We are partnering with the Instituto Monteverde, a Costa Rican non-profit dedicated to sustainability education. The Monteverde Institute is a community-based organization that supports local educational outreach, a publicly accessible library, research, and community programs.

Field Trip Itinerary, Spring 2020

SATURDAY, MARCH 14 / CHICAGO TO COSTA RICA

Morning

7:48 am departure from O’Hare on Flight UA 1187, arrival at Juan Santamaría Airport  at 12:00 pm

Afternoon

Depart for Cahuita

Program and country orientation

Health and safety briefing

Lodging

Hotel CariBlue (1) https://cariblue.com/

SUNDAY, MARCH 15 / MARINE ECOLOGY, COASTAL LIVELIHOODS, AND THE LIONFISH THREAT

Morning

Breakfast at hotel, Snorklling at Manzanillo with ASOPACS (Southern Caribbean Artisanal Fishers Association)

Afternoon

Lunch with ASOPACS- Caribbean food-turning an ecological problem into a culinary trend: lionfish lunch with ASOPACS), time at the beach

Lodging

Hotel CariBlue (2)

MONDAY,  MARCH 16 / WILDLIFE AND ECOLOGY OF CAHUITA NACIONAL PARK

Morning

Hike in Cahuita Nacional Park with MVI coordinator then depart for La Fortuna

Afternoon

Observe and discuss banana and pineapple production en route, stopping to sample tropical fruits.

Lodging

Finca Luna Nueva (2) https://fincalunanuevalodge.com/

TUESDAY, MARCH 17 / BIODYNAMIC & SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AT FINCA LUNA NUEVA

Morning

Tours on site: Sacred Seeds Tour, Farm Tour

Afternoon

Tours on site: Sacred Seeds Tour, Farm Tour

Optional yoga activity

Lodging

Luna Nueva (2)

WEDNESDAY MARCH 18 /  RENEWABLE ENERGY,  THE MONTEVERDE INSTITUTE

Morning

Optional cow milking;  Transfers to Monteverde in jeep – boat – jeep  

Discuss renewable energy while traveling across Lake Arenal and past wind turbines en route

Afternoon

Visit Monteverde Institute

Lodging

Cabinas Capulin (1) https://cabinascapulin.com/

THURSDAY, MARCH 19 / SAN GERARDO - NIGHT WALK, CLOUD FOREST ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION, AMPHIBIAN DECLINES

Morning

Hike to San Gerardo field station in the Children´s Eternal Rainforest with Mark Wainwright–naturalist, illustrator, author of Mammals of Costa Rica, and board member of the Children´s Eternal Rainforest

Afternoon

Time to explore individually and in groups; Presentation, “Amphibian Declines and Partial Recovery”

Evening

Night walk with Wainwright

Lodging

San Gerardo Station

https://acmcr.org/content/stations-and-trails/san-gerardo-station/

FRIDAY, MARCH 20 / SAN GERARDO, AGRICULTURE IN MONTEVERDE, BATS

Morning

Exploring the forest

Afternoon

Hike out of San Gerardo; visit LIFE coffee farm; presentation, “Social Change in Monteverde with Guillermo Vargas co-owner and founder of LIFE.

Evening

Short Presentation on bat ecology and bat mist-netting with representative from Bat Jungle.

Lodging

Cabinas Capulin (2)

SATURDAY, MARCH 21 / THE GUACIMAL SUSTAINABILITY DEMONSTRATION CENTER

Morning

Travel to Guacimal, tour of the Sustainability Demonstration Center,

time at farmers market and river

Afternoon and evening

Transfer to San José, farewell dinner at Café Mundo

Lodging

Hotel Aranjuez  https://www.hotelaranjuez.com/?lang=eng

SUNDAY, MARCH 22 / COSTA RICA TO CHICAGO (AND CAMPUS)

Morning

Breakfast at hotel and then transfer to airport

Afternoon

Depart at 1:20 pm, Flight UA1099 to Houston, arriving 6:12 pm.

Night

Depart Houston 9:40 pm and arrive Chicago 12:10 am.

*For those who want it, transportation to and from O’Hare via university vehicle and overnight lodging at airport hotel prior to departure will be available (cost included in course fee).

A picture of a yellow snake

 

 

 

  • Students of ESE 389

  • and image of a red bus stopped at the side of a street

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FACULTY
 

kanter

Want to know more about the trip?
Talk to the professor: Rob Kanter
rkanter@illinois.edu or call +1217.244.2761

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a picture of professor Laura Haber

Want to know more about the trip?
Talk to the professor: Laura Haber
lhaber@illinois.edu or call +1.217.244.2317

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  1. Does this count for major credit?
    Yes - ESE 389 counts for advanced hours in the major
  2. Are all costs included?
    All costs including accommodation, meals, flights and trips are inclusive.  Optional activities (activities not listed in the itinerary) are not covered by the student fee.
  3. Do I need a visa? 
    US citizens do not require a visa, just a valid passport. International University of Illinois students may have other requirements. PRC passport holders do not require a Costa Rican visa if they hold a valid US visa.
  4. How will the course give credit? 
    ESE 389 students will receive 3 hours of advanced credit. The course must be taken for grade.



An image of an animal in Costa Rica

STUDENT FEES AND COSTS

The total cost for students will not exceed $3130. Student fees are included as part of the regular University of Illinois tuition, and may be paid for by standard financial aid and other student support.

Are fees an issue for you? 

Students who take ESE 389 are eligible for scholarship support from three sources, ONE OF WHICH YOU CAN APPLY FOR RIGHT NOW:  

The School of Earth, Society, and Environment—up to $500, based on merit and need. To apply, email Dr. Kanter [rkanter@illinois.edu] with a brief (250 words, tops) statement addressing your merit and/or need for assistance. Students who apply for this funding by November 13 will receive notification of awards before Thanksgiving break.  

The College of LAS—up to $500, based on merit and need (timeline TBD).  

Illinois International offers two relevant scholarships in various categories and based on a variety of criteria:  

  • “Illinois for Illinois” (i4i) awards range from $1,000 - $1,500 (five of eight students from the 2017 class who applied each received $1,000) 

  • “Illinois International Programs (IIP) Scholarships” awards are generally $1,000 (data regarding past success with this one unavailable) 

You may also want to reassure parents or other potential co-funders that the course fee for ESE 389 covers a lot, including  

  • Transportation to and from Chicago with overnight lodging the night before departure   

  • Air fare 

  • All fees for instruction and entrance to facilities 

  • All meals and lodging for eight days and nights in Costa Rica!