Primate Behavior and Conservation Field Course Opportunities

[NOTE: this is a non-IU Overseas Study opportunity.  Please direct inquiries to the program itself.  If you decide to attend the program, please contact IUB Office of Overseas Study to let them know that you are attending the program.)


We are pleased to announce our 2013-2014 field courses in Primate Behavior and Conservation. Our course are intended for undergraduates or early graduate level students who have a keen interest in tropical biology and conservation, but have little or no experience of working in a tropical environment. Participants may enroll on either a credit or non-credit basis. This course is sponsored by Marshall University and Franklin College.

Courses will be held in Costa Rica’s spectacular Osa Peninsula. As one of the largest tracts of rain forest north of the Amazon, this area is renowned for high animal and plant diversity. It is one of only a few places in Costa Rica that has jaguar, puma, sea turtles and four species of monkey (mantled howler monkey, black-handed spider monkey, white-faced capuchin and squirrel monkey). It is also home to nearly 4,000 plant species. All students participating in our programs will have opportunity to be involved in applied conservation (i.e., sea turtle monitoring and reforestation) and community service. Every course includes a 2 night/3 day homestay. During the homestay, students will be involved in the daily activities of the host family with the purpose being to gain a greater understanding of Costa Rican culture. The homestays additionally provide support for the local communities and lead to greater community inclusion in our conservation efforts.

The courses include a 4 day field trip which includes a visit to a chocolate plantation and 2 night stay in Drake Bay with a snorkeling tour of Cano Island, one of Costa Rica’s premier dive spots. Here there is a good chance we will see white-tipped reef sharks, manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins and humpback whales. On the return trip from the island, we will explore the Terraba Sierpe Mangroves, which are accessible only by boat and consists of over 100,000 acres of the largest mangrove forest in Central America. The final day of the field trip we will visit the Boruca Indigenous Reserve where we will learn about their community and traditional lifeways. The field trip is in cooperation with Planet Conservation, our sustainable travel partner. Every effort is made to implement eco-friendly and socially responsible practices into our day-to-day operations, field courses and overall mission.

Winter 2013-2014

Methods in Primate Behavior and Conservation (Dec. 26, 2013 – Jan. 14, 2014)
Course Coordinator: Kimberly Dingess, Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington; Guest Lecturer: Dr. Benjamin Freed, Anthropology, Eastern Kentucky.

Summer 2014

Primate Behavior and Conservation (June 15 – July 10)

Course Coordinator: Kimberly Dingess, Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington; Guest Lecturer: Dr. Janette Wallis ,Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Environment, University of Oklahoma and Vice President of Conservation for the International Primatological Society.

As much of our advertising is done by word-of-mouth, we encourage you to spread the word by forwarding this information to students or friends who may be interested in our programs.

For more information, please visit our website at or email

Hope to see you in Costa Rica!



Kimberly A. Dingess


DANTA: Association for Conservation of the Tropics

304 12th Avenue W

Huntington, WV 25701