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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Program Homepage: Click here
  • Restrictions: Grinnell applicants only
Grinnell Approval Deadlines/Program Dates:
Grinnell Approval Deadlines/Program Dates:
Term Year Grinnell Approval Deadline Grinnell Decision Date Program Start Date Program End Date
Fall 2019 12/05/2018 02/18/2019 TBA TBA
Spring 2020 12/05/2018 02/18/2019 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Program by Theme: Human Ecology, Sustainability and Environment Subject Areas of Interest: Agro-Ecology, Anthropology, Biology, Ecosystem Management & Sustainability, Environmental Studies, Global Development Studies, Latin American Studies, Sociology
Language of Study: English, Spanish Campus Program Advisor: Monty Roper
OCS Contact: Jonathan Larson Language Prereq: 3 semesters
Housing: Home Stay
Program Description:

Why study with the ICADS Field Program in Environment & Sustainable Development in Costa Rica?

  • Learn about environmental issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective

  • Study intersection between community, ecosystem, economics and politics

  • Explore environmental and economic implications of plantation and small-scale agriculture, eco-tourism, bio-prospecting, and national park management.

  • Analyze impact of export-oriented development on family, class, and race relations.

  • Learn strategies for natural resource conservation through organic agriculture and sustainable extraction of timber and other forest products

    Open to all majors and may be of particular interest in these subject areas:

    Environmental Studies
    Global Development Studies
    Latin American Studies
    Ecosystem Management and Sustainability


Program Overview

In ICADS' semester-long Field Program, students gain research experience in both the natural sciences (forest ecology, agro-ecology, soil sciences) and social sciences (sociology, anthropology, history, economics) while learning to address environmental issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. Students are provided with the analytical tools and research expertise to make meaningful contributions to ongoing work in the area of “sustainable development,” with the recognition that workable solutions to environmental conflicts can only come from an understanding of the intersection between community needs, ecosystem dynamics, and political-economic systems.

The Field Program is divided into 3 blocks:
- Block I: 5 weeks - Spanish course and Latin American Perspectives on Justice and Sustainable Development Course
- Block II: 4 weeks - Field Projects: Ecology of Managed and Natural Ecosystems 
- Block III: 5 weeks - Independent Projects (IPs): Written work, oral presentations, final evaluations and reentry presentation/discussion