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Tropical Entomology in Costa Rica

About the Program

The course will be offered at the world renowned La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. 

The course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the systematics, ecology, behavior, physiology, and evolution of one of the most important, and certainly the most diverse groups of organisms on Earth, to whit, the insects. Insects represent over half of the planet’s biological diversity. The course will focus on the evolutionary, ecological and behavioral aspects of the tropical members of the Class Insecta. Lectures will be devoted largely to general aspects of insect biology, including morphology, physiology, behavior, ecology, phylogenetics, and evolution. It is impossible to appreciate much of these major topics in biology without a firm grasp of the diversity of insects,
which is, in itself, one of the major reasons for studying entomology.

La Selva affords an ideal, incredibly beautiful location for the course. The station is sited at the base of a volcano, whose slopes provide a unique elevation biodiversity/micro-climate transect. The station offers housing, meals, laboratory space, microscopes, as well as transportation to and from the airport in San Jose. There is a well‑marked trail system for students to carry out their collecting and field projects. Moreover, the station is home to a vibrant research community with which students can freely interact if they wish. There is a long and illustrious tradition of entomological research at La Selva.

La selva 

Course of Study

All participants must register for one of the following courses:

  • Undergraduate students will enroll in the 4 credit course BIO 380

For students following the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC):

  • This programs fulfills GLO and EXP+ 

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Course Information

Location La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
Language of Instruction


Language Proficiency


Program Type

Group experience led by SBU faculty

Program Dates

January 2 - 22, 2017

Living Arrangements

Residence-hall style accommodation




2.0 or higher

Other Requirements
A valid passport is required for entrance to Costa Rica. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need to make prior visa arrangements to either enter Costa Rica or to re-enter the United States. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S. or an international student returning to school in the U.S., please make sure you have with you the necessary documentation for re-entry into the U.S.

Application Deadline

October 1, 2016

Candidates may be interviewed to determine their qualifications for participating and representing Stony Brook University abroad.

Program Cost

Application Fee $60
Tuition Rate $270 per credit for NY residents ; $988 per credit for non-residents
Program Fee

$3,200 (includes shared lodging, 3 meals per day, group excursions, course materials, and international health insurance)

Administrative Fee $200 (non-refundable)
International Health Insurance Included in the Program Fee
Other Fees $600 (approximately; includes personal expenses, books, passport)
Travel Costs

Estimated Airfare: $600.  All student participants will travel together to the study abroad site. Students are responsible for booking flight arrangements and will receive additional information upon acceptance.

Costs are estimates for planning purposes of the student and are subject to change at any point.

More Information

Credits earned on this program will calculate toward a student's GPA at Stony Brook University.  Non-SBU students are advised to check their home university policy on grade and credit transfer.

Links and Resources

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Contact Information

International Academic Programs

International Academic Programs
Stony Brook University
E1340 Melville Library
Stony Brook, N.Y. 11794-3397
Tel: (631) 632-7030
Fax: (631) 632-1396
Dr. Fredric Vencl
Program Director
Ecology and Evolution
Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, N.Y.
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