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  • Locations: At Sea, At Sea; Cartagena, Colombia; Cristobal, Panama; Fort Lauderdale, United States; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Limon, Costa Rica; Panama Canal- Gatun, Panama; Princess Cays, Bahamas
  • Program Terms: Winterim
  • Budget Sheets: Winterim
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA: 2.0
Areas of Study: Culture, Environmental Studies Class Status: 1) Freshman, 2) Sophomore, 3) Junior, 4) Senior, 5) Graduate
Housing Options: Hostel/Hotel, Ship Cabin Program Type: Global Ed.
Program Description:
Ecology of the Tropics meets one hour per week during fall semester, followed in January by experiential learning on a nine-day cruise to five different tropical ports around the Caribbean. Students study indigenous peoples as well as Spanish, French, Dutch, British, African, and U.S. involvement in the Caribbean. They will develop an increased appreciation for God's creation through studying tropical ecosystems. Activities include kayaking in the mangroves, snorkeling to observe coral reefs, tropical fish and sea turtles, rain forest hiking, dolphin/whale watching, catamaran sailing, and visiting cultural sites, forts or museums.
Courses button Travel button leaders button 2 requirements button Costs button Inclusions button


Undergraduate students who join this program will be required to register for one of the following courses:
 BIO 367: Ecology of the Tropics (3 credits)* OR
 GEOG 367: Ecology of the Tropics (3 credits)

*Must take the BIO 368 lab to meet core lab science requirement.
Graduate students in the MS Environmental Education program may register for:
BIO 567: Ecology of the Tropics (3 credits)
These courses are listed in the Fall 2018 semester. 

Travel Dates & Location Descriptions

January 4th-12th, 2019

The itinerary has not yet been set for 2019, but here is an example from last year's itinerary

January 4: Fly to Florida

Day 1 - Fort Lauderdale
Take an airboat ride in the Everglades and witness the rich bird life and the coexistence of alligators and crocodiles. Explore the park which includes a reptile exhibit and show featuring the American alligator. Embark ship to sail at 4:00 PM. 
Day 2 - At Sea
Day 3 - Grand Cayman

Day 4 - Roatan, Honduras
Day 5 - Belize

Day 6 - Cozumel
Day 7 - At Sea
Day 8 - Fort Lauderdale



This course is led by Dr. Mark Schmitz and Professor Elizabeth Peckham. Dr. Schmitz leads the program for Mequon students, and Professor Peckham is the leader from the Ann Arbor campus. If you have any questions, please contact either Mark Schmitz or Elizabeth Peckham by email:


  • This program is open to all undergraduate students from Mequon, Ann Arbor and the Centers, as well as graduate students in the MS Environmental Education program. 
  • Must be in good academic and conduct standing with the institution.
  • Must register for one of the associated courses. 
  • Must comply with all deadlines for applications, document submissions, deposits and other payments. 


  • Program Fees: $2,500*
  • Tuition (3 credits)**
  • Study Abroad Fee: $50
  • iNext Insurance: $50
*This is a rough estimate. Final cost will be determined in late 2019.
**For full-time traditional undergraduates, there is no additional charge for tuition as long as the 3-credit course does not put you over 18 credits for the fall semester. Graduates will pay the standard per credit rate for the course. 


Included in the Program Fees are:
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Airport transfer and ground transportation
  • Lodging (ship cabin and hotel in San Juan)
  • All on-ship meals
  • Gratuities
  • Port taxes
  • Excursions, including snorkeling, kayaking, catamaran ride, rain forest hikes, formal dinner and more!

Not Included
  • Fees associated with obtaining a valid passport or visa*
  • Personal expenses
  • iNext Insurance health insurance ($50)
  • Meals are not included for flight days to and from Ft. Lauderdale. 
  • Checked luggage fees

Program Ratings:
Overall Experience:
1 2 3 4 5
Program Value:
1 2 3 4 5
Academic Experiences:
1 2 3 4 5
Cultural Experiences:
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
Overall Learning:
1 2 3 4 5
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winterim 2020 05/01/2019 05/17/2019 01/04/2020 01/12/2020