The focus is on studying sustainability, from an environmental social science and policy perspective. Students enroll and earn credits (7-9) through Michigan Technological University. Richelle Winkler instructs two content courses for upper level undergraduates (grads or others welcome as well), described below. Program is in partnership with Monteverde Institute. Students will also learn/improve Spanish language- all levels welcome.

Please see below for more information. Interested students should contact Richelle Winkler ([email protected]) as soon as possible. Deadline for application and deposit is March 1.

Basic Details:

Program: Study Sustainability in the Costa Rican Cloud Forest

Dates: May 12-June 22

Application Deadline: March 1, 2019 (includes $500 deposit)

Institutions: Michigan Technological University, in partnership with Monteverde Institute

Costs: Basic (per credit) tuition for 7-9 credits + $3995 program fee (covers all instruction, lodging, food, programs and facilities, transportation in country, field trips, laundry).

Extra Costs (not included):  flight to San Jose, travel insurance

Application Procedure: Apply as a visiting student to Michigan Tech University. See

Philosophy: Integrate active learning, field trips, research experiences, and community-engaged, place-based learning with serious study of population-environment dynamics and sustainable community development. Examples from Costa Rica integrated throughout, but always in a global and comparative perspective. Spanish language and Costa Rican culture are key components, but students can come with no prior experience. We will all learn together!


Population and Environment. 3 credits.  Course covers global to local population growth and change, as well as socially mediated relationships with environmental problems, health, and development. Special focus on conservation and protected areas.

Communities & Research. 3 credits. Course introduces basic concepts in community development, with a focus on environmental sustainability, rural communities, energy transitions, and climate change. Students collaborate with a local (Monteverde-based) environmental organization on a community-driven research project (related to climate change mitigation) and present results to the community at the conclusion of the program. Follows community-engaged participatory scholarship model.

Costa Rica Cultural Immersion. 1-3 credits. Students participate in Spanish language classes with native speakers (~ 4 hours per week), live in a home-stay environment, practice tropical cooking, dancing, cultural exchange, etc. Language placement level is determined on arrival, with options from complete beginning through advanced/fluent/native speakers. Assignments include some basic language work, and a reflective journal. Students must register for at least 1 credit, but may choose to register for 3 (with additional reflective writing/language work required).