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Tropical Ecology & Chocolate in Costa Rica


Students will explore several different regions of Costa Rica and become familiar with the culture and biodiversity of this safe and progressive nation.  Biology and other interested students will participate in programs designed to expose them to the biodiversity of this country and explore the conservation measures and efforts to protect the country’s ecological heritage and richness and to make the country a leader in sustainability.  The chocolate program will parallel the biodiversity program much of the time, but will sometimes diverge to learn about the agriculture, economics, and manufacture of cacao/chocolate.


  • Visit Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Taste and analyze Costa Rican chocolate 
  • Hiking
  • Visit Irazu Volcano
  • Immerse in the culture with a host family


For this program abroad students may choose to register for any of the courses listed below.  The program in Costa Rica will connect to the academic content of these courses and provide students with experiential learning. 

  • BI327 Ecology, Diversity & Sustainability (1 credit Spring 2022 course)
  • PS345 Chocolate! (1 credit Spring 2022 course)

This program is open to ALL students even if they are not registered for one of these courses.


Faculty Leaders

Dr. Louise Wootton is the chair of Biology and Director of Sustainability at Georgian Court University.  Her expertise is in coastal ecology, with a focus on coastal dune communities.  She has traveled to Costa Rica several times as both a student and a faculty leader.

Dr. Karen Kelly is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Counseling.  Professor Kelly earned her BA from Rutgers University, an MA from Montclair State University, and her PhD from Columbia University.  Her research interests include self-awareness and various aspects of self-reflective consciousness including metacognition (particularly as it relates to emotional exchanges).  This will be Dr. Kelly’s first time leading a study abroad program.

Dr. Susan Field is the Director of Psychology Scholars Program and a Professor of Psychology.  She was born in Yorkshire, England but has lived in the USA most of her life.  Her research interests include attitudes, particularly prejudice, the effects of gendered language on people’s thought, and pedagogical techniques in higher education.  This will be the fourth time Dr. Field has led a group of students abroad.

Program Costs


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