Tropical Biology Field Course Opportunities – DANTA

PLEASE NOTE: these are non-IU Overseas Study opportunities that have not been approved for the Biology or Animal Behavior degrees.  If you plan to attend, please contact IU Overseas Study to let them know.  If you’re interested in using these courses in your degree, please consult an academic advisor at  (You will need to submit a course syllabus.)



We are pleased to announce our 2015 field courses in tropical biology. Our course are intended for undergraduates or early graduate level students who have a keen interest in tropical ecosystems 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.

Our Costa Rica based courses are held at Osa Conservation’s Piro Research Station in the 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 summer session Primate Behavior and Conservation course includes 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 2015

Methods in Primate Behavior and Conservation

Dates:  (January 1 – January 15, 2015)

Location: Piro Research Station, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Course Coordinator: Kimberly Dingess, Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington


Summer 2015

Primate Behavior and Conservation

Dates: June 15 – July 10, 2015

Location: Piro Research Station, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Course Coordinator: Kimberly Dingess, Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington


Natural History, Indigenous Cultures and Conservation

Dates: July 24 – August 14, 2015

Location: Amazonian Colombia

Course Coordinator: Kimberly Dingess, Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington
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 West

Huntington, WV 25701-3039