Costa Rica

Firestone Center for Ecological Restoration

Offered: Both Fall and Spring Semesters & Summer for qualified research students

Eligibility: Background in ecology/biology. Spanish required for semester-long stays.

Description: The Pitzer College Firestone Center for Ecological Restoration is located near Dominical, a small village and premier surfing locality on the central west coast of Costa Rica. The site covers a mountainside with a diversity of ecological and geological features. Wildlife includes white-faced monkeys, wild pigs, the tremendous diversity of brightly-colored forest frogs, the deadly but beautiful fer-de-lance (terciopelo) and much more. Students may live in a dormitory on site for short-term research (e.g.—summer months), or have home stays with local residents in nearby Tinemasta to improve their Spanish and enrich cultural education. An on-site laboratory facilitates research with a local, bilingual site manager available to help as needs arise.

This is a fine program not only for students interested in ecology and land-use / natural resource issues, but also for those keen on environmental sociology who simply might be interested in burnishing their basic understanding of human interaction with the natural environment—in this case a tropical rainforest. Both semester long and summer research programs are undertaken here.

No initial knowledge of Spanish is required for students arriving strictly for ecological research projects, but students planning to spend the entire semester studying abroad at the Firestone Center must demonstrate some competency in this language. Periodic visits by Claremont faculty help support the study abroad learning experience here.

Note: Depending on your college, this program may not be pre-approved, and may require special petition. Do not let this discourage you. For more information, contact your school’s study abroad office:

FMI:

  • Go to the Pitzer College Firestone Center website
  • Contact Dr. Donald McFarlane, Joint Sciences, Site Director (x72564; )