Channel Islands Marine Program (5 Days / 4 Nights)
SE’s Channel Islands Program is perfect for aspiring marine scientists who wants to get a head start on honing their research skills in a real world scenario. Students will learn about this biodiversity hotspot and practice techniques used by marine biologists and ecologists who are working to protect the Channel Islands and the organisms that live there every day. Students are exposed to the channels’ diverse range of marine life by studying the tiniest of microscopic plankton to the massive humpback whale. Each day they will hike and explore the islands to see endemic foxes, birds and plants, found nowhere else. They will gain hands-on experience with the wild and beautiful world of marine invertebrates and venture into one of the largest accessible sea caves yet discovered. Combining marine biology, oceanography, zoology, and island ecology with fun activities like snorkeling and kayaking, makes this science program a truly unforgettable adventure.
Costa Rica (9 days/ 8 nights)
Sea Turtles, Dolphins, & Whales
On this marine biology excursion, students explore the Osa Peninsula and other hidden gems of Costa Rica. Surrounded by beaches, mangroves and estuaries, this region creates unique habitats for both permanent and migratory species. Students join researchers working on current sea turtle, dolphin, and whale conservation projects and collect data to help with rehabilitation and rescue efforts. Since mangroves play an essential role in coastal ecosystems and the preservation of these species, students also participate in the Mangrove Reforestation Project to improve water quality and support a healthy habitat. To wrap up the program, students enjoy zip lining, white water rafting, sea kayaking or surfing in the beautiful, warm waters of this spectacular country!
Sea Turtles & Forest Ecology
This in-depth program features two regions of Costa Rica that will give students the opportunity to delve into multiple field projects. This enriching experience features ongoing work alongside scientists in sea turtle preservation and forest ecology. Tour a sustainable coffee farm and work in conjunction with foundations dedicated to conservation and sustainable development in country. Zip-line through the forest canopy and surf the pristine beaches, all while immersing yourself in Costa Rica’s vibrant culture.
Butterflies, Birds & Big Cats
Following a day at the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Waterfalls, students will visit the Monteverde Frog Pond and Butterfly Garden to study the unique biology of cloud forest creatures. A visit to the Instituto Asis Wildlife Center and later the Las Pumas Rescue Facility will expose students to the different stages of rehabilitation animals go through to be reintroduced into the wild. Throughout the trip, students will compare water and soil samples taken at various locations and evaluate the health of local habitats. Bird watch at the Palo Verde National Park ranger station where groundbreaking research projects are taking place. For the grand finale, learn to surf in the warm waters of the exquisite Tamarindo beaches.
(note: all Costa Rica programs can be done as Spanish language programs as well with a homestay component with a local community for 2 nights)
Cuba (9 days / 8 nights)
The fascinating political and ideological history of Cuba makes this an ideal destination for one of our favorite social science programs. This interdisciplinary program focuses on Cuban success stories as well as the many challenges facing the nation today. Students hear a variety of Cuban viewpoints, ranging from local guides to professors of economics at the University of Havana. They will visit a self-organized, sustainable farming village hosted by local Cuban families and explore traditional music and artisan markets. Students will get to traverse caves, snorkel around the reefs, and hike through breathtaking views. This is also a great program for language students to practice their Spanish!
Climate Change: In the Cold & In the Tropics (10 days / 9 nights)
Climate change is the most passionately debated issue of our time. We offer two stunning programs devoted to collaborative efforts to affect positive outcomes in climate change. Students discover the world’s natural wonders while studying the nexus of technology, natural resources, and human development under the guidance of world-renowned specialists. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of global environmental policies and their impacts on technology, economic progress, wildlife conservation, and climate change.
Climate Change 1: In the Tropics will take you to the Yucatan Peninsula where you can explore and learn about how this global shift is already affecting the delicate ecosystem.
Climate Change 2: In the Cold will take you to Alaska where you can see how rising temperatures in the poles is affecting ice-cover on our earth’s surface.