This program introduces students to the ecology of terrestrial and marine tropical environments, including those impacted by humans. The course will stress the natural history and ecology of tropical organisms and the historical and cultural ecology of the Belizean people and their relationships to their environments. Students will spend considerable time snorkeling on various coral reefs within the Belize barrier reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. They will also investigate the tropical rainforest habitats in the Community Baboon Sanctuary and Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and mangrove habitats in coastal environments. Students will investigate the current and historical culture and environmental relationships of Belize through visits to Mayan archaeological sites such as Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, and the towns of San Ignacio (dominated by Mayan descendants) and Dangriga (with a largely Garifuna population). The trip is capped off with a stop at the Belize Zoo to examine local efforts to conserve tropical biodiversity. The program has space for 18 students, and students will receive 3 credits for BIO 310 Tropical Ecology.
Program Capacity: 18
Required Credits: 3
Open to All Majors
Application Deadline: October 1st
- Junior standing and a major in biology, marine biology or environmental science preferred, or consent of the instructor.
- 45 credit hours with a GPA or 3.0 or better
- Good academic and judicial standings
BIO 310: Tropical Ecology- Examines diversity of life in a tropical region including exploration of coral reefs, sandy shores, mangrove swamps, and freshwater habitats. May also include special area in-depth investigations of student interest. (3 credits) Winter Intersession
Student accommodations will consist of Housing is provided at several commercial hotels and resorts, including Pelican Beach Resort, Black Orchid Resort, Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge, and Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Reserve. Students are generally housed 2-4 per room.
January 4, 2020 - January 14, 2020
Program Fee: $3,360
October 15: $500 NON-REFUNDABLE Deposit
- Includes tuition, instructor fees, Fee includes all food, accommodation, transportation, tuition, and park entry fees
- Does not include airfare
November 30: Remaining Balance
Financial Aid and Scholarships
RWU students applying to RWU-sponsored short term study abroad programs are not eligible for financial aid, however, they may apply to one or both of the scholarships listed below. Students apply for the scholarship(s) at the same time they submit their application for a short-term program abroad. In order to be considered for the Global Engagement Scholarship, they must submit their application by stated program application deadline.
The Bridging the World Scholarship:
Scholarship awards based on academic merit only
Scholarships awards based on financial need and academic merit
The Global Engagement Scholarship:
Scholarship awards based on financial need only (limited funds available)
Health & Safety Abroad:
Professor Paul Webb, Biology
Office MNS 235
Professor Loren Byrne, Biology & Environmental Science; Member, Sustainability Studies Program
Office: MNS 227
Students should review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for complete information regarding the health concerns and vaccine recommendations specific to Belize. Students should also review the U.S. State Department’s consular information website for complete information on safety and security.
All information subject to change - Roger Williams University reserves the right to cancel any faculty-led program offered during the academic year for insufficient enrollment or for any other reason. These reasons may include safety and security concerns at the program location. Should it prove necessary to do so, the School will promptly notify all registrants.