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The School for Field Studies (SFS) - Panama: Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies
Bocas del Toro, Panama (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Fall,
Spring
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Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: The School for Field Studies (SFS) 
Restrictions: F&M applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall,
Spring
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Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 10/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of F&M approval for this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
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Fact Sheet:
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Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA: 2.8
Housing Options: Dorm Term: Fall, Spring
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Partner Institution:
SFS Program Advisor: Claire Retterer
Area of Study: Anthropology, Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, International Studies, Sciences, Spanish Program Type: Field Study, Study Center
Program Description:
Program Description:

School for Field Studies: Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies




OVERVIEW

Defining key island systems, both natural and human, and how they interface is the focus of this marine and terrestrial program. Through field observations and research, students identify the pressures on the environment and social systems, and evaluate the responses by local stakeholders and policymakers. Interviews with residents reveal local livelihood strategies, approaches to surviving in a tourism-based economy, and use of natural resources, which help students to assess the sustainability of terrestrial and marine resource use.  The program provides a foundational knowledge of the interdependence of the livelihood strategies of island residents, population structure of key species, and habitat arrangements and conditions. Equipped with this, students then apply sustainability principles to identify potential management strategies. Lectures by Panamanian and international researchers, government officials, and community stakeholders provide additional social, economic, and policy context for environmental management in the region.

WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

Marine and terrestrial species identification
Impacts of tourism on humans and the natural environment
Assessment of ecosystem health
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
Impact of policy enforcement on local communities and environment
Resource management
Ecology of terrestrial and marine species important to tourism
Conservation and management strategies

WHAT YOU'LL PRACTICE

Terrestrial, marine and coastal species identification
Insect and amphibian trapping for population monitoring
Quantitative & qualitative data collection and analysis
Environmental-impact and protected-areas assessments
Research design, implementation, and communication
Tourism impact assessment methods
Language (Spanish)

RESEARCH

When you study abroad with SFS, you’re contributing to a legacy of environmental research and stewardship. Communities and ecosystems across the globe are dealing with the impacts of climate change, pollution, deforestation, and many other environmental threats. For more than 35 years, our students and faculty have been working to address these issues through focused research efforts.

With ten Centers around the world, our research covers a spectrum of important environmental issues. SFS programs provide the foundation for students to critically examine today’s environmental issues in an international setting and conduct meaningful, hands-on research in the field. You’ll be working alongside members of our faculty who have expertise in many fields including conservation ecology, environmental policy and ethics, and natural resource management, and the data you collect contributes valuable information to the global body of scientific knowledge.

Our planet is home to an incredible diversity of life, and its future depends on good science and informed policy. Through your research at SFS, you’re becoming part of a greater movement to protect the planet for generations to come. 


Franklin & Marshall Academic Policy
F&M requires all students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution or off-campus study program. You can typically find this information on the program partner's website. In many cases, this will be four or five courses for a semester. Many programs grant course credit in U.S. semester credit hours. Franklin & Marshall will award four F&M course credits for a total of 15 or 16 U.S. semester credit hours.  If the total number of credits for your program is more than 16 or less than 15, divide the total number by four to find out how many course credits you will receive (this includes summer study).

Courses on off-campus study programs must be taken for a letter grade, not on a pass/no pass basis. Grades from off-campus study program courses will appear on your Franklin & Marshall transcript, but they will not be calculated into your cumulative GPA.

Courses taken off-campus may be able to satisfy major, minor, language or distribution requirements (Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Non-Western Cultures or Natural Science Lab) in addition to general elective credit. Courses may fulfill more than one requirement. Please note that Franklin & Marshall cannot issue transfer credit for a course taken in a department that is not represented at the College.  If a course does not clearly fall under a department, the off-campus study advising staff can help you determine whether or not it can be accepted for credit.

Franklin & Marshall Housing Policy
Housing options during your off-campus study program will vary by program. Some programs may allow students to choose their housing option; other programs require all students to live in a certain type of housing. Typical housing arrangements may include apartments, homestays, or on-campus housing at a local university. Please visit the program homepage to determine your program's housing options or requirements.

Please note that some programs may offer students the option to pursue independent housing (outside of the regular housing options provided by the program). F&M does not allow students to choose independent housing unless there is a significant academic or cultural reason (such as wanting to live in a homestay when only apartment housing is provided). Independent housing carries many risks and F&M and the program provider cannot provide any support to students who pursue independent housing. Students who are interested in pursuing independent housing will need to contact their off-campus study adviser to petition for approval to pursue this option.

Financial Policy, Financial Aid and Scholarships
During the academic year, students will continue to be eligible for financial aid during a term of off-campus study.   This includes federal and state loans and Franklin & Marshall merit scholarships and need-based grants.  In general, eligibility for financial aid is based on Franklin & Marshall tuition, cost of housing and meals from the off-campus study program, and an allowance for books and personal expenses.  Your annual estimated family contribution as generated by your FAFSA will remain the same regardless of program costs. Students who receive Grant-in-Aid benefits will continue to access these benefits for the semester off-campus. This benefit is only available to students of eligible full-time F&M faculty and staff.

Students may be eligible for additional scholarships outside of F&M, please review the Scholarships section of the website for more information.



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