University of Oregon

SIT: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation in Panama City

Program Overview

Note: This program will not be available after Spring 2017

The Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation program will provide you with a rare opportunity to study tropical ecology up close in one of the world’s most diverse wildlife and plant environments. You will interact with research and conservation experts, local organizations, and indigenous groups to gain an in-depth understanding of how issues related to development and conservation affect lives and livelihoods within local communities. Intensive language instruction and homestays with host families in both urban and rural settings will give you a rare, personal experience of the country, its cultures and livelihoods.

This program consists of three phases: a four-week homestay in Panama City during which you will take Spanish and begin the Development and Conservation Seminar and the Field Study Seminar; a six-week period during which you will conduct field studies throughout Panama and part of Costa Rica; and a four-week period during which you will focus on your Independent Study Projects. Each phase exposes you to different perspectives on conservation and development through interactions with a variety of stakeholders – from banana plantation workers and members of forest-dwelling communities to experts on environmental policy and evolutionary theory.

For further information about the program, including dates and course information, please visit: 

SIT: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, and Biodiversity Conservation

Application Process

If you are interested in applying to an SIT program, we strongly advise you to meet with a program coordinator prior to applying.

SIT Study Abroad has rolling admission, which means that applications are reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening and closing dates of the review process. Applications must be complete to be reviewed for admission. Since many programs fill long before the published closing dates, students are strongly advised to apply by the above priority deadline.

Qualified applicants are recommended by a GEO study abroad advisor. The final selection of participants is made by SIT. The SIT admissions committee strives to select students who will be the best possible match for the program. You should submit strong academic references and demonstrate a consistent academic record, clear motivation to study abroad, solid reasoning for their program choice, and an understanding of the program model.

IMPORTANT: Application for a SIT program involves two parts:

  • Completion of the GEO application process.
  • Completion of the SIT application process.

Please note that the GEO deadline supersedes the SIT deadline. An application fee is due at the time of application and is non-refundable under any circumstances.

Additional Requirements

  • GEO highly recommends that you have at least one year of Spanish bfore participating in the program.
  • Previous college-level coursework and/or significant preparation in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields, as assessed by SIT. There is no language requirement.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineFinal DeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Spring Semester2017N/ATBATBA

Additional Date Information

To confirm the exact program dates, please consult SIT.

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.