Program dates: Proposed dates for summer 2024 - May 15 to June 1st (Costa Rica trip to take place May 21-June 1st)
This course is an interdisciplinary synthesis of environmental issues within the broader context of globalization. The emphasis of the curriculum is on local sustainability efforts in Costa Rica/Central America, and associated global-local connections. Specific topics include: sustainable community development, free-trade, agriculture & land use, renewable energy, biological conservation and restoration of tropical ecosystems.
The course includes lectures, discussion, group activities, volunteer service-learning work, and associated field trips to sustainable businesses, organic farms, watershed conservation sites, renewable energy projects, private reserves, national parks, and/or community ecotourism projects.
No prerequisite is required, but successful completion of an introductory Environmental Science/Studies, Geography, Global Systems, or related course is highly recommended.
Students who successfully complete this course will receive 3 units of academic credit as ESM/GEOG 301: ‘International Environmental Issues & Globalization' (undergraduate credit) from Cal Poly Humboldt. This course fulfills upper division General Education requirement in Area D for California State University campuses, as well as a major requirement/elective for Geography and Environmental Science and Management at Cal Poly Humboldt. This course is open to students from any University.
This course will be based in the town of San Ramón, and include visits to the nearby Tilaran mountain range, the Northern plains surrounding the Arenal Volcano, and the Central Pacific coast. Time will also be spend learning about and volunteering at different sites we will visit. Academics will include lectures from local experts, group discussions, and field study. Possible site visits include local university facilities and laboratories, a woman's health care cottage industry, organic farms, a hydroelectric power plant, a water conservation and reforestation project, a community ecotourism project, a biological marine station, a medicinal plant farm, an artisanry workshop, and local hot springs. Field activities typically include interpretative tropical forest hikes, night field activities, work on an organic farm, and reforestation/restoration work. Please note that participants must be prepared for hiking in tropical environments, and have required field study items with them at all times. Housing conditions will vary from multiple-occupancy rustic field station rooms to middle-range ecolodges and hotels. Participants will also have a limited amount of personal time, both in the city (e.g., shopping, museums) and in nature. The tour will be facilitated by Earth Education International staff, in collaboration with Humboldt faculty. Selected photos and video from previous similar courses are available in the MediaBlog
, and a tentative itinerary is also available on the Earth Eduction International website
(final version available upon arrival).
This section is provided to assist in preparing participants for this course. Properly preparing yourself will allow you to get the most out of the experience, and allow us to facilitate a safe and enjoyable learning experience for all. Thus, please review the following information and appropriate links to other sections of this web site:
1. General Information
A wealth of information is available on the EarthEd International website
in order to assist you in preparing. The table of contents for this information is on the Participants page
. In particular, the In-Country Information page
includes information on what things cost in Costa Rica, local foods, banking, shopping, relevant Spanish vocabulary, and the like. Links
to additional information about the country are also provided for your convenience. We strongly suggest that you peruse that information as appropriate to acquaint yourself with conditions on the program, and in Costa Rica, well before departure. This will allow you to get the most out of your time here.
2. What to Bring
Detailed general information on what to bring on your trip can be found in the Packing section
of the 'Preparation' page. There you will find lists of appropriate items to bring, as well as recommendations for packing & traveling. PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO SECTION B: REQUIRED FIELD STUDY ITEMS. For both logistical and safety reasons each participant will be expected to have those required items with them upon arrival. When packing clothes, please note that it is NOT necessary to bring enough for your entire stay. Participants will be able to wash clothes every few days during the course (at their own cost). In addition to general items, we recommend that you bring hiking or rubber boots for muddy conditions in the biological reserve.
IMPORTANT PACKING NOTE: It is highly recommended that you bring a small backpack which you can have on-hand during the day while traveling in the bus. A second bag (which may be in a roof rack or otherwise inaccessible during the day) should be packed with items you will NOT need until that evening after checking into the hotel.
3. Program Policies
Please review the program Policies section
in detail. You will be held accountable to those policies during your visit, and required to sign a form agreeing to them upon your arrival.
Rosemary Sherriff, Professor, Geography, Environment & Spatial Analysis Dept.
Cal Poly Humboldt
Phone: (707) 826-4119
College of Extended Education & Global Engagement
2nd Floor Student & Business Services Building
Phone: (707) 826-3731
Center for International Programs
Tel: (707) 826-4142