Field Courses For University Students
Undergraduate students from universities across the globe are encouraged to apply to join a field course at the FCAT Station in Summer 2023. These field courses are administered by Tulane University, instructed in English, and are open to students from any university and all disciplines and majors. The courses provide a two-week, interdisciplinary, immersive experience based out of FCAT’s comfortable & rustic field station. Students design and conduct hands-on research projects, receive lectures, and become familiar with conservation initiatives in the region, including sustainable coffee & cacao production, environmental education projects, small-scale agricultural, & eco-tourism ventures. These courses have been transformative for many of the students that have taken them, serving as stepping stones for further research, study, and careers in conservation.
Research & Projects
Students work with instructors, peers, and local residents to design, implement and write up small group research projects during the field courses. Students learn by doing, and our approach is intentionally interdisciplinary, with projects spanning environmental, ecological to social questions. Examples of recent student projects include studies of bird diversity, water quality, or seed dispersal in relation to habitat type; local knowledge about medicinal plants; and social attitudes about conservation. These research projects provide a valuable opportunity to experience first-hand the challenges and rewards of designing and conducting community-engaged field research in a biodiversity hotspot, and in many cases have served as the foundation for subsequent honors thesis or graduate level research projects.
Logistics & Cost
We expect to offer two field courses at the FCAT in Summer 2023: Session 1 (June 3 – 16) and Session 2 (July 18 – August 1). These dates are subject to change. Courses are instructed by Tulane faculty members, and students earn 3 upper-division credits in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology or Environmental Studies from Tulane University. These credits can typically be transferred to most universities. There are no required pre-requisite courses. The cost for the field course is $4,500 plus airfare; this includes all costs. Partial need- and merit-based scholarships are available. You can request a scholarship as a part of your application to the program.
Your first step is to apply for the program here. The final application deadline is April 1, 2023, however, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis the 15th of every month from January through March. You will know within 30 days if you have been accepted to the program. For example, if you submit your application by January 15th, you will know if you have been accepted by February 15th. We anticipate all sections of the field course will fill this summer, so we encourage you to submit your application ASAP! If you are accepted to the program and are not already a Tulane student, you will need to apply for summer school at Tulane. You can find more information about that here.
Statement on Social Justice and Diversity
Students should have equal access to study and research abroad opportunities regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, financial background, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Conducting collaborative research in a tropical rainforest is a life-changing educational experience, and it can also present an opportunity to further awareness and acceptance of your community on a global scale. We encourage students from underrepresented groups to apply and will do our best to facilitate a safe and fulfilling experience for all!