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Tropical Ecology with Study Abroad in Belize

  “After carefully scaling the steps to the very top of a Mayan temple, I could see for miles and miles above the very trees that I had just navigated between. As I lengthened myself on the very tip of the temple and looked abroad for the first time; this moment, like many others throughout the trip, felt like a small piece of myself had just been unearthed for the first time.”

From a 2015 ABAC Student’s Reflection Paper


MesoAmerican Reef (2nd largest reef in the world)

Welcome to the Tropical Ecology page. This course was last taught spring semester 2018. If you need more information about the course and anticipated future years the course will be offered, please contact Beth Thornton or Phil Hightower. In the meantime, please browse the materials below.

For spring semester 2018, we offered two versions of the tropical ecology course. BIOL 4550 Tropical Ecology and Natural History is for biology majors and counts as a 4hr biology elective. Non-biology majors get credit for SCIE 1005/L Environmental Science lecture (3hrs) and lab (1hr). Note that you cannot take either course for credit more than once. The lab component of both of these spring semester 2018 courses was held in Belize over spring break.



BIOL 4550 Tropical Ecology SP18 Application Form (Due Fri. Nov 3, 2017)

SCIE 1005/L Environmental Science SP18 Application Form (Due Fri. Nov 3, 2017)


Websites about Belize

“The environment was like none other. From the beautiful rainforest to the open savanna with mountains, there was always somewhere beautiful. “

From a 2015 ABAC Student’s Reflection Paper

Past Trips

Tentative BIOL 4550 General Syllabus and Detailed Addendum (SP18)

2017 Proposed Itinerary

Belize 2015 Agenda

“I had really high hopes for this trip but all hopes were well exceeded.”

“I did not expect this trip to challenge me in the ways it did.”

“I learned that our actions can have a more profound effect than we think.”

From 2018 ABAC Students’ Reflection Papers

Study Abroad Scholarship Links

Read all criteria, rules, etc. carefully before applying.


San Ignacio, Belize

“It’s been the best week and most definitely the best spring break I have ever had.”

“The history I gained on this trip will forever stay with me…”

“My perception of life and the world has changed. Life is too short to spend it with my head stuck in my phone or TV.”

From 2018 ABAC Students’ Reflection Papers

For more information on Study abroad at ABAC, see:

“Brilliant blue waters with an island paradise was one of the most exciting treasures I was looking forward to experiencing on my study abroad trip to Belize during Spring Break of my senior year of college. Surprisingly, these same blue waters were where I learned the most about myself and about the others traveling with me.”

From a 2015 ABAC Student’s Reflection Paper