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Tropical Field Research and Natural History of Ecuador

Summer A  2012


Program Full

Program Description:

Application Deadline Extended!

As a supplement to its Biology curriculum, the College of Sciences has designed a study abroad program for undergraduate students interested in Tropical Field Research at UCF.

This course will explore the diversity of tropical terrestrial floral and faunal communities in Ecuador and the ecological processes that shape them, such as adaptations and ecological interactions.

The overall goals of this program are to expose students to the complexity of a tropical rainforest ecosystem, to introduce them to the diversity of plants and animals and to practice field research methods that help researchers better understand the organisms within this ecosystem.

By taking students into the rainforest, discussing the hypotheses previously learned in light of their new context and introducing them to techniques of tropical field ecologists, they will gain new insights into the tropics, ecology and conservation that can be applied elsewhere.

Participants will fly into Quito international airport and spend one night in the city before traveling to the field station at the Wildsumaco Wildlife Sanctuary where the class will be based. The field station is located in the lower mountains at about 1,500 meters and boasts 487 species of birds and variety mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Wildsumaco Wildlife Sanctuary abuts the 931,215 hectare Sumaco Biosphere Reserve.

Students on this program should plan to arrive in Quito, Ecuador by noon on the starting day of the program in order to be in country to transfer to the hotel.  Please note, check flight schedules carefully before booking. Students are encouraged not to purchase their flights until after the application deadline and the applicants have been informed that the program has met its minimum numbers.


Price breakdown based upon the minimum number of students:

Payment 1:  $100 (non-refundable)
Payment 2:  $1000
Payment 3:  $137.50
Payment 4:  $137.50

Learning Outcomes:
  • Obtain first-hand experience with the diversity and complexity of the tropical rainforest ecosystem
  • Understand the fundamentals of tropical ecology and diversity
  • Integrate important concepts in ecology and evolution
  • Understand the importance of proper collection and identification of organisms for ecological studies
  • Gain experience with experimental design, data collection, organization and analysis
  • Use some basic equipment and techniques of terrestrial field ecology
  • Examine ecological interactions at the population, community and ecosystem levels.
  • Literature search, reading of primary literature, report preparation, and written and oral presentation
Program Prerequisites:
Minimum GPA: 2.50 cumulative
Language: English
Proficiency Level Required: English
Other Prerequisites: 

BSC 2011 General Biology

PCB 3044 Principles of Ecology

Courses[click to expand]:
PCB-3343L Principles of Field Ecology - PCB 3343L
Academic Institution: This program does not use a partner institution
Credit Hours: 3.00

Program Components and Costs:
Component: Program Fees

The following services are included as part of the program fee:

  • Shared accommodations in Quito, Ecuador including breakfast.
  • Local guides
  • Full room and board at the Wildsumaco Wildlife Sanctuary field station
  • Airport transfers
  • Medical insurance including repatriation
  • Administrative fee
  • Contingency fund
  • Local guides
  • Local ground transportation between Quito and Wildsumacao
  • First aid as well as supplies and field guides. 

The following services are not included as part of the program fee:

  • Round trip air between Orlando, Florida and Quito, Ecuador
  • Passport or visa fees
  • Incidentals
  • Meals except as listed above
  • Currency exchange fees
  • Personal travel not associated with the program
  • Tips and gratuities for tour guides and private charter buses
  • UCF tuition
  • Immigration or departure fees in Ecuador
Price (in US Dollars): 1375.00
Requirement: Mandatory
1st payment due:  Pending application approval
2nd payment due: 2012-02-24
3rd payment due: 2012-03-15
4th payment due: 2012-04-16
Study abroad fees are posted to the UCF student account. Payment procedures, types and cashier locations can be found here, on the UCF Registrar's website.
Faculty Program Coordinator:
Name: Dr Gregg Klowden
Email: gklowden@ucf.edu
Office: BL 202A
Program Dates:
Program Begins: 2012-05-08
Program Ends: 2012-05-21
Program Deadlines:
Last day to apply: 2012-03-01
Last day to withdraw/reconfirm: 2012-03-03
Academic Institution:
This program does not use a partner institution 
Additional information:
Program Map
Closest Domestic Consulate
Nearest US Embassy Abroad
US State Department Country Information
Currency Exchange Information
Visa Information:
Visa Required: No
Your visa requirements and cost may vary if you are not a US citizen. Please let OIS staff know if you are not using a US passport to ensure that we can address any differences in the immigration requirements.

Program Cost Disclaimer: The program cost does not cover UCF tuition, airfare (unless a program expressly and specifically includes this), independent travel, or personal expenses. Cost is approximate and may fluctuate due to changes in foreign currency or unforeseen circumstances. UCF reserves the right to alter or cancel the program at any time. In such cases, the university shall not be liable for airfare, transportation costs and/or any other costs incurred by the student. UCF, Office of International Studies will make reasonable efforts to notify students through reasonable means to inform the students to reserve their flights. Students should consult their travel agent about buying travel insurance to defray unanticipated costs in the event travel plans change. UCF will make reasonable efforts to notify students via Knights email when any significant changes are being made to the program. It is entirely within UCF's discretion as to what changes are considered significant.

University of Central Florida
Office of International Studies
4000 Central Florida Blvd, Millican Hall room 107 Orlando, FL 32816
Telephone (407) 882-2300 | Fax (407) 882-0240 | studyabroad@ucf.edu