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Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation
Field Courses in Tropical Ecology
(Established 1996)
Educational Program
Web Site:

Director: Dr. Peter N. Lahanas
Phone: 352-367-9128   Fax: 352-367-0610   E-Mail:
1023 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, Florida 32601 UNITED STATES
Department: Education Program
Institution: Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation
Affiliations: University of South Florida, New College; University of Colorado, Grand Canyon University, Virginia Intermont College

Mission: FIELD COURSES IN TROPICAL ECOLOGY The Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC) is a not-for-profit organization which has its home office in Gainesville, Florida, and operates the Bocas del Toro Biological Station in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Due to the juxtaposition of both tropical rain forests and coral reefs, this region of Panama offers perhaps the highest overall biodiversity in Central America. ITEC's mission is to offer college-level courses in tropical ecology and geology, provide facilities for long-term research, conduct programs for the conservation of sea turtles, coral reefs and rain forests, and to improve local conservation ethics through education. ITEC field ecology courses are four weeks in duration and emphasize the learning of field techniques and individual research. Our professors and students come from universities across the US, Canada and Latin America. Tuition for the four-week summer and three-week winter field courses are $1700 and $1400 respectively, and covers all instruction, lodging, meals and local transportation. Up to six units of credit are given for each course. There are four species of primates at the Bocas del Toro Biological Station, including the mantled howling monkey (Alouatta palliata), white-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus), black-handed spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), and night monkey (Aotus trivirgatus). Two additional species, Geoffery's tamarin (Callithrix geoffroyi), and squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus), occur on the mainland. ITEC field courses include: Primate Ecology, Cultural Anthropology, Pre-Columbian Archaeology, Coral Reef Ecology, Carbonate Geology, Tropical Rain Forest Ecology, Neotropical Ornithology, Tropical Ethnobotany, Neotropical Herpetology, Tropical Plant Ecology, Tropical Conservation Ecology, Neotropical Entomology, Tropical Animal Behavior, Tropical Ecology and Conservation (Spanish language) and photography. Course Dates: Summer Session A: May 15-June 11, Summer Session B: June 15-July 12, Summer Session C: July 15-August 11, Winter Session: December 20-January 9. Primate Ecology field courses are offered in all sessions.

Training Opportunities: ITEC educational focus is on teaching field courses that emphasize research concepts, field methods and individual research in tropical ecosystems. The program is directed towards college undergraduates, graduates, post-grads and educational faculty.

Financial Aid: There are two types of scholarships available. The Sara Glanzer Scholarship is based on scholastic achievement and economic need. This competitive award pays full tuition for any ITEC course and $500 towards travel. Scholarships are also available for Latin American students enrolled in Latin American institutions. There are three scholarships available to Latin Americans. 1. Latin American Student Tutition Reduction (LASTR program). All ITEC courses are available to qualified Latin American students at half their normal price. 2. General Latin American Student Scholarship (GLASS Scholarship). Up to two GLASS scholarships are given per session or up to eight per year to qualified Latin American Students. These scholarships pay $1000 US towards tuition for any ITEC field course. 3. Panamanian Student Scholarship (PASS Scholarship). Up to two PASS scholarships are given per session or up to eight per year to qualified Panamanian Students. These scholarships pay 100% of tuition for any ITEC field course. Please contact ITEC for details, Undergraduate, Graduate, Postgraduate are encouraged to apply.

Number of Staff: 15

Comments: ITEC does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex or religion with regard to staff employment, acceptance of students, research assistants or volunteers, or in any aspect of its operation.

Last Updated: 2002-11-01

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