Ecology and Writing in Costa Rica 

This experience is a combined trip serving the needs of students enrolled in ENGL3015L Environmental Writing Lab and/or BIOL3250L Tropical Ecology Lab.


For information on how to apply, please visit the NNU Off Campus Opportunities page.

Program Details

During the 16 day experience, students will be getting field lectures, participating in field research activities, reading works written by Costa Rican authors and writing pieces based on their experiences, hear presentations from Cost Rican scientists, eco-tourism industry leaders, sustainable farmers etc. Another important part of the trip will be a home-stay on an organic farm.  Students will learn to appreciate and articulate differences between U.S. and Costa Rican culture, particularly related to the environment and sustainability.

Semester Courses

BIOL3250L This course will study major themes and principles of ecology applied within the framework of the Neotropics. Emphasis will be placed on the autecology and natural and natural history of select species (both vertebrate and invertebrate), and the ecological interactions at the population, community and ecosystem levels. Students will gain an understanding of select tropical biomes and representative ecological interactions from each biome. A Christian perspective will be used to explore the human dimensions of tropical ecology and the appropriate ethic for conservation, such as the ethical and cultural dilemmas of life in a tropical country.

ENGL3015L During the course of this semester we will encounter several significant and interesting texts (classic and recent) that each deal with the world outside the human body and mind—a pretty broad topic, if you think about it.  We will think and write about several questions.  How do we begin to define “environmentalist,” or “nature” in ways that are accurate and enlightening?  How do we finite individuals make positive differences in the natural world, and what might those changes look like?  What sorts of approaches have naturalists, artists, and scientists taken to understand themselves and the world around them better, and how might we adapt those approaches to our own lives?  How can we best communicate to an audience the beauty, intelligence, intricacy, wildness, and fragility of those things and places in the natural world for which we have great passion?