Course Description

The Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica has been called “the most biologically intense place on earth.” (National Geographic). Beginning as an island, life evolved in isolation, until eventually merging with the mainland, pouring biodiversity into tropical landscapes. This also formed Golfo Dulce, sheltering sea life from the open ocean. The Osa is home to an estimated 2.5% of all biodiversity on Earth; yet this region makes up less than .001% of Earth’s surface.

This Field Academy immerses students in service learning, as stewards of planet Earth’s ecosystems and communities. They work alongside world-class scientists, dedicated to understanding and preserving wildlife, such as leatherback sea turtles, whales and dolphins, sharks, poison dart frogs, pumas and jaguars, insects and endangered birds. Students explore delicate habitats like mangrove forests, snorkel in coral reefs, and trek through untouched rainforest.

Students live at research stations and eco-lodges, that boast a commitment to sustainability through renewable energy sources, reduced waste, and careful water usage. Well-earned meals consist of local cuisine made from sustainably grown food. Wellness activities include yoga, hiking, snorkeling, swimming and kayaking. Students embrace “Shinrin-yoku” (forest therapy) by finding balance within themselves through diving into nature and its abundance.  

Our global ecosystems are in danger of disappearing, as industrialized civilization expands across the world. Rainforests are cleared for coffee and palm oil plantations. Shorelines are polluted and destroyed by developing tourism. Fortunately, the Osa Peninsula remains one of the last places to witness the magic of a pristine rainforest as it creeps right up to the water’s edge. Scarlet MaCaws soar above the canopy, pumas prowl through thick jungle, humpback whales mingle in the gulf, and howling monkeys swing from ancient Kapok trees.

Nature calls students to look within themselves, and in turn give back to nature.