Reece Lab

Evolutionary Genetics and Conservation Biology

BIOL 189T/BIOL 174: Tropical Biodiversity & Conservation and Animal Behavior-Costa Rica, May 20-June 11, 2019


Study Abroad in Costa Rica: May 20-June 11, 2019!

This website can serve as your central portal for joining my 2019 study abroad course in Costa Rica.


  1. BIOL 189T: Tropical Biodiversity and Conservation
  2. BIOL 174: Animal Behavior

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Tired of “study abroad” courses that are little more than group vacation with tuition? Interested in exploring the remote tropics by hiking in tropical rainforests, snorkeling coral reefs, hiking volcanoes, seeing the cloud forest on the continental divide? Want to learn about tropical biodiversity and conservation, and what tropical species can teach us about the evolution of animal behavior? BIOL 189T/174 Costa Rica 2019 offers you the opportunity to do all of those things and earn 6 units of credit, all for around $3400 for flights, meals, hotels, guides, tips, and 6 units of tuition during 14 days in Costa Rica. We will meet from May 20-27th for classwork at CSU Fresno, including local field trips and classroom time. We will depart from LAX on May 29th and return on June 11th. We will visit active volcanoes, montane rain forests, Pacific coast beaches, lowland tropical rainforests, dense tropical jungles, snorkel vibrant coral reefs, and have a chance to immerse in the unique local culture. Please consider joining us on this fantastic opportunity to expand your horizons!

Meet your professors:
Dr. Joshua Reece and Dr. David Lent are co-teaching these courses. Dr. Reece has traveled to Costa Rica more than a dozen times since 2002. He has published research on some of the species you will see and he has taught study abroad courses in the tropics for several years. Dr. Lent is an expert on animal behavior and neuroethology. He too has traveled extensively in the tropics both for research and as a leader of study abroad trips.

Contact Information:

Dr. Joshua S. Reece
(559) 278-8440

Dr. David D. Lent
(559) 278-3966

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Flier: 2019 Costa Rica Brochure


Sign up with Explorica NOW!

The Explorica link above will also list the locations, accommodations, and other details for the travel portion of the trip. Follow the steps below to sign up!

  • Search “Reece-4562” in upper right corner search box
  • Click the blue box labeled “sign up now”
  • Create an account with your contact info
  • Choose “manual payment plan” under “other payment options”
  • Secure your spot with $99 now and $499 within 30 days
  • After these payments you are eligible for available scholarships, contact Dr. Reece ( to have applicable scholarships applied

Important Dates:

  • Sign up with a deposit and manual pay plan with Explorica before Nov. 15, 2018 to ensure maximum scholarship award.
  • Final enrollment/due date with deposit to Explorica: February 7, 2019
  • Final payment to Explorica: March 25, 2019
  • Sign up with CSU Fresno for course credit in January 2018
  • Tuition due to CSUF: February 1, 2019
  • What’s the Explorica cancellation policy? See the chart below.



Course Information:

  • Two Courses? Yes!
    • Here are the two options:
      • 1. Take only BIOL 189T (Tropical Biodiversity & Conservation) for 3 units
      • 2. Take both BIOL 189T and BIOL 174 (Animal Behavior) for 6 units
    • The only difference is that taking BIOL 189T alone (3 units) will cost $870 in tuition, while taking both courses (6 units) will cost $1740 in tuition. We realize the burden of doubling the tuition, and have secured $1300 in scholarship funds for students enrolled in both courses (so, pay the extra $870 for BIOL 174 and you get $1300 back- not a bad deal!)
    • Prerequisites? Introductory biology for majors or nonmajors is suggested but not required.
  • What do the courses count for?
    • BIOL 189T and BIOL 174 are upper division electives for BIO majors (BIOL 174 can also fulfill the biology lab requirement) but are NOT General Education electives.
    • However, you can meet with your academic advisor and work to petition for the course to meet one of your other GE requirements as a replacement.
  • How much does it cost?
    • I know this is complicated, but see the chart below. There are scholarships available to CSM students and the Bio major students, and an IRA award available to any CSU Fresno student. CSM student scholarship amounts also vary based on if you enroll in only BIOL 189T or both BIOL 189T/BIOL 174. The Explorica fees differ if you want to bunk 3-4 people to a room or 1-2 people to a room. The total cost column lists the final cost including Explorica fees and tuition with applicable scholarships applied. NOTE THAT THE SCHOLARSHIP VALUES GIVEN BELOW ARE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT POSSIBLE AND THERE ARE A LIMITED NUMBER OF SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE, SO SIGN UP SOON!

CR table

  • More on costs…..
    • There are two costs, one to Explorica and one to CSU Fresno.
    • If you are a CSU Fresno Student, there are IRA funds available for $1000. You may combine IRA funds with CSM/Bio awards.
    • If you belong to a major in the College of Science and Math (CSM), there are 15 scholarships available for $1000 per student if you take only BIOL 189T for 3 units or $2300 per student if you take BIOL 189T/BIOL 174 for 6 units.
    • If you are a Biology major there are 15 scholarships available for up to $260 per student (in addition to up to $1000 or $2300 from CSM)
  • When do I get the scholarship funds?
    • The $1000/$2300 for CSM majors and the $260 more for Biology majors are available as soon as you sign up and confirm your major with me. The additional $1000 in IRA funding is available in early March.
  • Can I take the course if I am not a student at CSU Fresno?
    • YES! anyone can take the course by enrolling through CSU Fresno Division of Continuing and Global Education. You do not have to formally apply and be enrolled in CSU Fresno.
  • How to get/renew a passport? You can submit a passport application on campus!
    • Visit the Passport Place at Fresno State website to find more information on applying/renewing a passport. It is recommended to allow for at least 2 weeks to gather required documents and apply at least 4-6 weeks in advance to allow for processing.
    • You can also visit in person at Kremen Education Building, Room 130 to submit paperwork or talk to a Continuing & Global Education representative.

Sam the Toucan.pngSafety Information:

  •  Immunizations?
    • All travelers headed to Costa Rica should be up to date on their routine vaccinations, notes the CDC. These include the MMR, or measles, mumps and rubella vaccine; the DPT vaccine for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus; the polio vaccine; and immunizations against the flu and chicken pox. The CDC provides a list on its website of recommended routine immunizations for children and adults to help you determine which vaccines you should consider getting before visiting Costa Rica.
    • The CDC recommends checking the vaccines/medications list carefully and visiting a doctor at least 4-6 weeks before departure.
    • Additional Vaccines
      • Americans who have not been vaccinated against typhoid or Hepatitis A or B should receive the vaccines before traveling to Costa Rica, notes the CDC. All travelers have some risk of contracting these diseases, but those having medical treatment in Costa Rica or who may be exposed to bodily fluids run a higher risk of contracting Hepatitis B. Unvaccinated travelers visiting the rural areas where food sanitation may not be up to a high standard, may be at risk for contracting typhoid through the food or water supply
      • Zika and malaria are a potential risk in Costa Rica. The CDC recommends taking precautions to avoid mosquito bites or bring medication.
      • Rabies risk is low, but the CDC recommends rabies vaccinations for travelers involved in outdoor or other activities in remote areas that may put them at risk for animal bites.

Check out the CDC Info for Costa Rica website for more information.