Skip to content

Costa Rica - Environmental Science and Ethics

Costa Rica Environ Science

Application Deadline Extended: Apply by February, 24, 2017

Program Sheet: Costa Rica 2017.pdf

The Country: 
Beautiful Costa Rica provides a stunning location for studying environmental science and ethics. This tropical country with micro-regions from coastal wetlands to high cloud forests is home to a gentle and gracious people, as well as one of the most biologically intact and extensive rainforests in the world. Together we will discover the natural wonders, rich cultural history, and complex moral and geopolitical relations between the Costa Ricans and those to whom they supply fruits, coffee and Intel microchips.  '

You will stay at Selva Bananito Lodge, which sits on the edge of Costa Rica’s 2.5 million acre rainforest. This lodge, outfitted with 15 cottages, was named one of the top 10 ecotourism operations in the world by Outside MagazineCheck out the photo album! 

The Courses

ENV-115: Environmental Science and PHI-160: Environmental Ethics
Students enroll in two academic courses at Kirkwood that can apply to general education requirements. These courses consist of online assignments and scheduled group meetings with instructors, both prior to and after the in-country experience. They culminate in a combined final project online incorporating observations, data, images and writings on our experiences in Costa Rica.
Environmental Ethics: uses ethical theory and field experiences in Costa Rica to explore how we should live in order to minimize the harm industrial consumer societies do to the ecosystems on which all life depends. Emphasizes conservation, food production and climate change.
Environmental Science: section will emphasize the integration of major environmental topics with field experiences in Costa Rica. These include tropical ecosystems and loss of biodiversity, land utilization and agricultural concerns, water quality and man’s interaction with the environment.
Program Note: Students must be able to walk four to five miles daily.

Class Meetings in Spring 2017 (Iowa City campus) 

  • Wednesday, March 22: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm 
  • Wednesday, April 5: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm 
  • Wednesday, April 19: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm 
  • May 15, 16 and 18: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Estimated Cost: $3,400 

  • Round trip Airfare
  • Housing
  • Most Meals
  • In-country transportation 
  • Health insurance 

Does not include:

  • Tuition (6 credits, Summer 2016)
  • Passport Fee
  • Personal Spending Money

Faculty Contacts:
John Dawson, Professor, Math/Geology 

David Bullwinkle, Professor, Philosophy