- Minimum GPA: 2.5
- Judicial Check
- Prerequisite: BIOL 271, BIOL 271L or consent of instructors
- Spots are limited. Applications will be evaluated in the order they are submitted
- Program Dates: March 13 -22, 2020
- Application deadline: September 17, 2019
- Friday, October 11, 2019: $800 deposit
- Friday, January 24, 2020: remainder of the program costs are due
- See iconic Neotropical mammals and birds at the Belize Zoo
- Go on daily birding and wildlife walks and excursions
- Visit Lamanai, a Maya archaeological site
- Explore tropical forest habitats at Rio Bravo Conservation Area
- Learn about the cultural history of Belize
- Go cave tubing at St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park
- Stay on South Water Caye, an island on the Belizean barrier reef, and snorkel coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats
Study Abroad Budget
About the Program
Have you always want to snorkel on a coral reef, trek through tropical forests and see howler monkeys, over a hundred species of birds and, just maybe, a jaguar or cougar? Then this is the study tour for you. We will do all these things and more in the Tropical Biology Study Tour while being introduced to the ecological processes of a range of tropical environments, from terrestrial forests and savannas to marine mangrove and reef systems. You will learn to identify common tropical biota and be introduced to the medicinal uses of Neotropical plants. We will go on boat excursions to see Morelet’s Crocodiles. We will also explore Lamanai, a Maya archeological site, and study the cultural history of Belize. The leaders will emphasize how humans have impacted tropical ecosystems.
Students wishing to receive credit for the ELAW component of the Core Curriculum must take an additional independent study in the preceding fall semester or concurrently with Tropical Biology in the spring. For the independent study, students will read at least one book on a topic related to Tropical Biology and write a paper. Topics include but are not limited to 1) threats to tropical ecosystems, 2) the history and cultures of Belize, 3) the rise and decline of Maya civilization, 4) traditional medical practices and the medicinal uses of tropical plants and animals, 5) development of sustainable agricultural or fisheries practices in the tropics, and 6) issues related to ecotourism in the tropics.
Students must have a valid passport with more than six months validity. During the fall semester 2019, students should consult the WHO and CDC’s websites for information on vaccinations/malaria prophylaxis they recommend for travelers to Belize.
Students will enroll in BIOL 380: Topics in Biology – Tropical Biology Study Tour (3 credit hours)
Students and instructors will meet at least four times during the semester prior to the spring break study tour for lecture, discussion and laboratory exercises that will give students an overview of tropical ecology and Belize culture, geography and history.
How credits taken abroad will transfer back to SMCM.
The academic and judicial requirements for any student considering studying abroad.
How financial aid will apply towards your study abroad program and what scholarships are available.
Payment processes for semester-long, short-term, and non-SMCM study abroad programs.