SFS PANAMA: TROPICAL ISLAND BIODIVERSITY STUDIES (SEMESTER)
- Terms: Fall, Spring
- Credits: 18 semester-hour credits
- Prerequisites: One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science; 18 years of age
- Application Deadline: Rolling admissions. Early applications encouraged
- Financial Aid: All accepted students can apply for need-based scholarships, grants, and loans
Bocas del Toro, Panama is home to a stunning diversity of life, from underwater reef ecosystems to rich green rainforests, and the culture of Bocas is as unique as its environments. Go behind the scenes in this “paradise” and study the impacts of tourism and development on the archipelago. Take a look at local and national environmental policies, explore the island ecosystems, and interview residents as part of an in-depth field research project on sustainability issues.
- Snorkel in the waters of the archipelago to explore coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds as you study sea stars, turtles, rays, dolphins, and schools of tropical fish.
- Visit the Pacific coast and the mountains of Boquete: Explore the Gulf of Chiriquí National Marine Park, take a canopy walk through cloud forest, and tour a sustainable coffee farm.
- Spend a day in Ngäbe communities: Speak with local Indigenous leaders, visit a women’s co-op, and take a forest walk with a local guide.
SFS students live and study at the Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies, once a beachfront hotel that sits among the slender palms and warm sands of Isla Colón lies the Center. You’ll take your classes over the waves of the Caribbean and among the surrounding rainforests and reefs. The laidback tourist hub of Bocas Town is a short taxi ride away, with access to shops, restaurants, and a vibrant culture that is as unique as the mix of people who live here.
- Climate change impacts
- Marine protected areas
- Rainforest biodiversity
- Tourism impacts
- Ecosystem health
- Community livelihoods and perceptions
- Species identification
- Underwater transects and quadrats
- Tourism impact assessment
- Scientific writing and communication
- Basic Spanish language
- Research design and implementation
- Data collection and analysis
- Research presentation
CONNECT WITH SFS
Visit the SFS website
Call the Admissions Hotline at 800.989.4418
Read updates from the field on the SFS Blog
Follow SFS on Instagram
Watch student videos on YouTube
Further information about The School for Field Studies programs specific to Wheaton College students
Wheaton College is committed to providing students with opportunities to broaden their understanding and vision beyond the borders of this campus and this country. We work in collaboration with carefully selected partner institutions around the world to support our students as they prepare to study abroad and while they are overseas. Students must apply to Wheaton's Center for Global Education as well as the institution through which they plan to study abroad. The most up-to-date information can be found on the program provider's website above.
One semester of college-level ecology, biology, or environmental studies/science
Courses & Credits:
Students on each School for Field Studies Semester program take 5 classes (18 credits) which earns students 4 credits at Wheaton College. Each program has a set curriculum that all students take.
Students studying abroad will continue to pay Wheaton tuition. Students are not charged Wheaton room and board, or the Wheaton technology, laundry, or student activities fees while on a study abroad program. Wheaton will, in turn, pay the program for all tuition and academic fees. Students will pay housing directly to their study abroad program. Some study abroad programs include meal plans while others do not offer meal plans and students will shop for and prepare their meals independently. Students will book and pay for their own flights.
Fees billed by Wheaton will be charged to students on their regular Wheaton College student account during regular billing cycles (July/December).
Federal, state, Wheaton need-based and merit scholarships will be applied to these charges for Wheaton-approved programs. Students must consult with the Office of Student Financial Services (SFS) for a comprehensive review of their aid. If a student receives aid beyond the cost of Wheaton tuition, they can request a refund through SFS.
Please do your research as housing and meal costs vary greatly from program to program. This Budget Worksheet
can help you estimate the total costs of your program.
For more information of the School for Field Studies on-site costs, please visit fieldstudies.org/admissions/costs
For Wheaton specific questions contact:
Center for Global Education
5 Howard Street
Norton, MA 02766-2322