This short-term study abroad course will examine wildlife ecology, conservation, and field methods in the tropics. The program will use two field stations as bases for the course instruction, including the classroom activities, labs, and student-led research projects. Students will have the opportunity to see new wildlife and ecosystems, experience different cultures, and explore wildlife and conservation issues in Belize. Upon completion of the course students will have developed the field skills necessary to conduct terrestrial natural resource ecology and conservation research in the tropics.
The program will begin at the Tropical Education Center (TEC), located approximately 30 miles west of Belize City. The center is run by the Belize Zoo, home to more than 125 native species, and is only a 10-minute drive from the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, a privately-owned wildlife reserve. With over 1800 acres of easily accessible pine savanna, TEC provides excellent opportunities to conduct wildlife and conservation related research projects in a pine savanna system.
The group will also stay at Las Cuevas Research Station (LCRS), a research station run by the non-governmental organization Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD). LCRS is located in the Cayo District inside Chiquibul Forest (comprised of Chiquibul National Park- CNP and Forest Reserve- CFR), an area of primarily dry tropical rainforest and Belize's largest protected area (265,000 acres). LCRS provides an amazing opportunity to explore the conservation issues associated with a large protected area (CNP) and also gives the chance to conduct lab activities and student-led research projects in an area of dry tropical rainforest.
Students who successfully complete the program will receive UTK credit for:
AGNR 491: International Experience in Agriculture and Natural Resources (3 credits)
Through a combination of lectures, readings, discussions, labs, field trips, and a research project, students will receive a thorough knowledge and understanding of tropical wildlife, ecosystems, and conservation, as well as hands-on practical experience in the field methods and techniques used to conduct natural resource studies in the region.
While primarily geared towards students in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries (FWF), this course is open to students from other majors.
Students and faculty will stay in accommodations associated with the two field research stations. Accommodation at the Tropical Education Center (TEC) is comprised of cabanas, each sleeping two people. At LCRS, accommodation is in dormitories, each room sleeping 2-4 students. Both the TEC cabanas and the LCRS dormitories have separate male and female flush toilets and showers and unisex hand basins.
Accommodations are included in the program fee.
Your program costs include: tuition, a program fee, a study abroad administrative fee and additional program-related expenses. The program's detailed cost sheet outlines the fees that are billed to your myUTK account and the estimated out-of-pocket expenses. You should carefully review costs, budgets, and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have any questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to the program contacts for guidance.
Dr. Emma Willcox
Program Director, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Science
248 Ellington Plant Sciences
Dr. Adam Willcox
Program Director, Research Assistant Professor
274 Ellington Plant Sciences Building
Programs Abroad Coordinator
Programs Abroad Office - Melrose Hall
Funding Your Study Abroad Program
You should carefully review costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have any questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your Programs Abroad Coordinator for guidance.
Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program
Review the program's Costs Sheet to understand the breakdown of program expenses.