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Programs : Brochure

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Program Description:

Program Overview     

Biol 482 is a combination lecture and intensive field course designed to introduce participants to the Caribbean coral reef biome and other near-shore environments such as rocky shores, mangroves and seagrass beds. Students will learn through theoretical and practical exercises how environmental and biological factors interact to sustain near-shore ecosystems. We will discover and describe the amazing diversity of coral reef, seagrass and mangrove systems, explore the physiological and behavioral adaptations that enable organisms to live in these environments and deduct the basic ecological principles that underlie the function of near-shore ecosystems. Students may choose to focus on current issues in marine conservation science as part of their class projects. Topics may include but are not limited to ecology, evolution, predator-prey interactions, disease dynamics, adaptation to climate change, and animal behavior. Biol482 counts towards the Marine Science Minor.

A field trip during spring break will take us to the beautiful island of Curacao, part of the Netherland Antilles in the southern Caribbean. Healthy coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds are easily accessible from shore and we will study them by snorkeling. The colonial past and economic realities in Curacao provide an instructive background to understand the complexity of marine conservation issues today. This course requires strong participation and thus is most suited for highly motivated students. Video from past trip available at scroll to "We are the millennials". 

Program Quicklinks     

Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links



Any pre-requisite courses are established by the faculty leader or department hosting the course.  The following have been listed as pre-requisites for consideration to enroll in this course and travel on the embedded education abroad program:
  • Pre-requisite - BIOL 220W
  • This course is open to students of all majors at University Park only. 
  • Admission in the course and permission to travel with the group are at the discretion of the faculty leader and/or academic department hosting the course.  Academic standing and disciplinary or conduct issues may impact eligibility.

Housing and Meals

During the embedded travel component, housing will consist of - housing information not available at this time.

Program Costs

Students pay regular Penn State tuition (either in-state or out-of-state) for the credits associated with the embedded course.  Travel costs, lodging, meals, excursions, and other fees are determined by the program budget which is set by the program leader.  Please consult the program leader for additional information.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Global Programs administers a scholarship that is specifically designated to support students studying abroad on embedded courses.  The scholarship is competitive, and the deadlines to apply are strictly enforced.  Please review the Embedded Programs Scholarship eligibility, deadlines, and application process.

For More Information

For more information about this course, please contact the program leader: Iliana Baums by emailing

How to Apply

 The process for enrolling in an embedded course varies according to the instructor and/or department.  The program leader has indicated that in order to enroll in the course and travel component, students must apply at 208 Mueller (M – F: 9 am – 4 pm), ask for Cindy Gates, pay your $600 course fee (cash, check or money order), and upon receiving your receipt, take it to Barbara DeHart in 113 Ritenour Bld. along with the application. Deadline is Dec 15 to ensure consideration for acceptance. This sum is nonrefundable unless the applicant is not accepted. Review of applicants will begin 1 Dec 2017 and proceed until the class is full.

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.



Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring- Embedded 2018 08/22/2017
Rolling Admission 03/03/2018 03/10/2018
NOTE: The application deadline date is NOT as it appears above. Please contact the program leader Iliana Baums by emailing if you are interested in applying for this embedded program.
Spring- Embedded 2019 08/21/2018
Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed