Albright in Costa Rica

Albright College in Costa Rica

NEW!  Check out this year’s course offerings!

Tropical Ecology of Costa Rica – Study abroad during Interim 2020 – Details here!

  • Course credit–this course counts as either Foundations or upper division biology credit:
    • BIO 102: Concepts and Connections in Biology (Natural Science Foundation)
    • BIO 317: Tropical Field Ecology (Biology/Environmental Science field lab)
  • Travel Dates: 2 January through 20 January

Informational Meeting:  Monday, 9 September 2019  6:00 PM Science Hall 255

Space is limited!  Register for the course by September 20.  For more information, email Professor Steve Mech.

Click here to apply for this program and select “Study Abroad” from your Identity drop down menu. (This link lists both Costa Rica programs as application options.)

Río De Sueños Field Station Offers International Study Opportunities in Costa Rica

Albrightians on balcony of Casa de GratitudeNestled at the base of the mountains only a few miles from the Pacific coastline, Río de Sueños (“River of Dreams”) is a 2.5 acre property located in a rural community of Costa Rica, a country rich in biodiversity. The field station established on the site leverages Albright’s strong interdisciplinary tradition, with study abroad courses offered in many subjects.  Read more about the courses offered at Río de Sueños field station, which provide international study opportunities for Albright students and others.

Check out pictures from recent Albright study abroad trips to Costa Rica.

Casa de Gratitude at Río de Sueños is located in southwestern Costa Rica, near the Pacific Ocean.  This property was gifted to Albright by a generous alumnus in honor of his wife, thus offering notable international education and research opportunities for Albright faculty and students.   Learn more about the history of this property.

Faculty from other institutions also have the opportunity to utilize Albright’s property in Costa Rica for their teaching and research efforts.  Faculty members from East Stroudsburg University and Villanova University have taken advantage of this opportunity.  See this blog for some details on a Villanova trip, which utilized Albright’s field station. Learn More…

 

Courses offered at Río de Suenos Field Station

Person holding a green-and-black frog

Dendrobates auratus

Albright professors lead international study programs during the January interim session, spring break or summer sessions, including in Costa Rica.  Check out a video from a recent Tropical Ecology course taught over the January interim.

Scholarships and other special funding may be available. To find out about funding possibilities, please contact Kim Justeson. (Students must be in good financial standing before applying payments to a study abroad program.)

 

Fall 2019-Interim 2020-Spring 2020-Summer 2020 Courses:

  • Tropical Ecology in Costa Rica:  This interim course will count either as a Foundations course or a Biology major course:  BIO 102 (Foundations-Natural Science) or BIO 317 Tropical Field Ecology (a course which counts for the biology major). For more information contact Dr. Mech (smech@albright.edu) or Dr. McGovern (amcgovern@albright.edu).
  • Sociology of Ecotourism and Adventure Sport in Costa Rica: Explore the pros and cons of ecotourism on local communities. This new course counts as SOC 396 and can serve as a Global Connections credit. Course meets on campus during the spring semester with travel approximately May 25-June 6. Contact Dr. Jennings (bjennings@albright.edu) or Dr. Brown (cbrown@albright.edu).

 

General description of the Tropical Ecology course:

Tropical Ecology Class 2018

Tropical Ecology Class at Río de Sueños, 2018

Starting in January 2017, Río de Sueños coordinator and Professor of Biology, Dr. Stephen Mech, has taken 12 students and an additional faculty member to Costa Rica for a Tropical Ecology class. The class begins with monthly meetings on Albright’s campus where the students learn about basic ecological concepts and differences between tropical and temperate ecosystems. In early January, the group travels to Costa Rica. Travels through the country give students an appreciation for the diversity of ecosystems in Costa Rica.  In addition, students engage with the local culture and economy from an ecotourist perspective.

The class spends several days at Río de Sueños where the students collect data for projects focused on observational ecology. Projects to date primarily include inventories of species at the site, though other projects have examined questions regarding the most effective way to sample insects, the relationship between time of day and reptile activity, and the differences between mist-net surveys and call surveys for bats.

 

Casa de Gratitude at Río de Sueños

Albright’s Casa de Gratitude at Río de Sueños

Opportunity for other organizations to utilize Albright’s Costa Rica property

The college has worked to establish a field station at the Río de Sueños site; thus, providing international teaching and research opportunities for Albright faculty, as well as faculty from other institutions and organizations. The site at Río de Sueños has a house with two bunk rooms (six beds per room) and two suites for faculty and guides. This site has all the amenities necessary for a group.

For more information please contact: Stephen G. Mech (Biology Department, Albright College, 610-921-7743 (office), smech@albright.edu).

 

 

History of Albright’s connection to Río de Sueños

Albrightians at the Playa de Ventana page

Albrightians at the Playa Ventanas caves

In September 2014, Max Jackson, Ed.D. ’75 made a generous gift of this Costa Rica property to Albright College. In 1994, Max and his late wife Mary Lou (Hafner) Jackson ’75 began looking for a retirement property and quickly focused on Costa Rica. According to Max, “The country and its people have so many qualities that appealed to us: no standing army, universal health care, free pre-natal care, a love of family and a respect for the elderly and their environment.” Sadly, Mary Lou passed away two years before the couple could complete their move to Costa Rica. But Max, filled with gratitude for the education he and his wife received at Albright College and recognizing the value of study abroad opportunities, fulfilled their mutual plan, and donated the property to Albright in honor of Mary Lou.

 

Where is Río de Sueños in Costa Rica?

Map of Albright property, Costa Rica

Map of Costa Rica showing the locations of the Río de Sueños and Camaquiri field stations. Biomes of Costa Ríca are designated by color, showing the unique locations of the two field stations in lower elevation Isthmian moist forest habitat on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

This Albright property can be found near the villages of Tres Ríos and Coronado in the Puntarenas province of southwestern Costa Rica (see map). Hiking and expedition opportunities start directly from the field station.  The Playa Ventanas beach is a short drive from the property.

Albright has deep connections with a consortium developing a new biological field station (Camaquiri Biological Field Station) near Cariari, in the Limón province in northeastern Costa Rica (see map). This second field station is a joint endeavor between Tayra Educational Expeditions, SA, faculty members of East Stroudsburg University and Moravian College, and several other partners.

 

NEW!  Check out this year’s course offerings!

Tropical Ecology of Costa Rica – study abroad for interim 2020One lodging location for Albright study abroad trip in Costa Rica

Course credit–this course counts as either Foundations or upper division biology credit:

    • BIO 102: Concepts and Connections in Biology (Natural Science Foundation)
    • BIO 317: Tropical Field Ecology (Biology/Environmental Science field lab)

Travel Dates: 2 January through 20 January

Space is limited!  Register for the course by September 20.  For more information, email Professor Steve Mech.

Click here to apply for this program and select “Study Abroad” from your Identity drop down menu. (This link lists both Costa Rica programs as application options.)

Description: This class will tour around Costa Rica and visit several different ecosystems and cultural sites. One stop will be Albright College’s Casa de Gratitude at Río de Sueños and another will be the newly-established Camaquiri Biological Field Station. At these two sites, students will participate in scientific research focusing on field-based observations. Projects will focus on small mammals, bats, birds, and reptiles. Students will learn field techniques and scientific observation. Additionally, students will learn about the various ecosystems we visit and about the conservation and sustainable practices in Costa Rica.

Cost:  $4,000, which includes all expenses (interim tuition, airfare, travel to and from the airport, and in-country food, travel, and lodging).

Study abroad in Costa Rica

Tropical Ecology class hiking in Costa Rica

Itinerary:

Fall Semester:  Class meets 5 times (time to be determined)

  • Basic background information
  • Prepare research plans

Travel

January 03:  Fly to San Jose Costa Rica – Travel to Cerro Lodge – Dinner and night hike at Cerro Lodge

January 04:  Visit Carara National Park – Lunch at Restaurante la Ostra – Dinner and lodging at Cerro Lodge

January 05:  Travel to Río de Sueños – Lunch and dinner at Río de Sueños

January 06 – 09:  Research at Río de Sueños – Visit local attractions (waterfalls and beaches) – Meals and lodging at Río de Sueños

January 10:  Travel to Toucanet Lodge – Lodging and meals at Toucanet Lodge

January 11:  Early Morning Quetzal tour – Travel to Cafe Cristina – Organic coffee  plantation tour – Travel to Arenal Observatory Lodge (~5hrs) – Dinner and lodging at Arenal Observatory Lodge

January 12:  Explore Arenal Observatory Lodge Trail System – Meals and Lodging at Arenal Observatory Lodge

January 13:  Explore Arenal Observatory trail System – Lunch at Fortuna – Visit La Fortuna Village – Visit Baldi’s Hot Springs – Dinner at Baldi’s Hot Springs

Albright College study abroad trip in Costa Rica

A tamandua in Costa Rica.

January 14: Travel to Camaquiri Conservation Initiative – Lunch on the way to Camaquiri – Lodging and Dinner at Camaquiri

January 15-17:  Explore trail system – Develop research projects – Meals and Lodging at Camaquiri

January 18:  Day trip to Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge – Lunch at Barra del Colorado – Good bye Dinner and Lodging at Camaquiri

January 19:  Travel to Hotel Aeropuerto – Lunch on the way to Hotel Aeropuerto – Good bye Dinner at Restaurante Las Planchas

January 20:  Fly home

(Don’t know what a tamandua is? Find out here.)

 

Bienvenidos - Welcome