UMW in Panama | Tropical Ecology

UMW in Panama

Tropical Ecology


Program Dates

February 25 – March 5

Spring Break 2023


Register for this program by October 16, 2022. Registration is not confirmed until your deposit has been received.

View our cancellation policy.

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Program Fees


$500 deposit due upon registration.
Final $2,810 due November 15, 2022.


  • Round-trip airfare
  • Housing and accommodations
  • Most meals
  • Airport transfers
  • Exit tax
  • Group excursions
  • Transportation while abroad
  • International health insurance
  • UMW Education Abroad fee

NOT Included

  • UMW tuition (may be part of your spring course load)
  • Textbooks
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplemental meals or snacks
  • Souvenirs
  • Immunizations
  • COVID-19 testing
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Health Information

International travel may require immunizations or preventative medicines. Please refer to the US Center for Disease Control’s Traveler’s Health Information Page for recommendations. The UMW Health Center provides free travel consultations by appointment, as well as travel information for UMW students. The Center for International Education recommends that each student have a personalized medical consultation prior to international travel.

This program includes moderate hiking through uneven terrain and travel by boat.

Spend your spring break in Panama, guided by Dr. Alan Griffith and Dr. Abbie Tomba. Explore multiple national parks as you learn about the diverse ecosystems of Panama.

  • Observe the stunning flora and fauna of Panama’s rainforests when you hike the famous Pipeline Road at the Soberiana National Park.
  • Walk the breathtaking high-elevation cloud forests in the Altos de Campana National Park.
  • Experience the historic town of Gamboa on the margins of the Panama Canal.
  • Visit Iguana Island and snorkel in Panama’s coral reefs.
  • Tour bustling Panama City.


Students will stay in bunk rooms in the Soberiana Lodge, nestled in the buffer zone of the Soberiana National Park and surrounded by local wildlife. Air conditioning and private bathrooms are provided.


This study abroad program is part of BIOL 424, Tropical Ecology, which will meet three times weekly throughout the spring 2023 semester. Students will earn 4 course credits. As a part of this course, students will:

  • Discuss the natural history and climatology of Panama;
  • Learn about a variety of tropical terrestrial and marine ecosystems, including the tropical moist forest and cloud forest;
  • Keep a field notebook and write a field report about ecosystems observed during the trip.

This course satisfies the Beyond the Classroom general education requirement with completion of a reflective essay. Alternately, the course may satisfy the Diverse and Global Perspectives requirement by contract with the Faculty Director only.

Requirements & Prerequisites

Introduction to Ecology and Evolution (BIOL 210) is a prerequisite course for Tropical Ecology (BIOL 424).  Students must earn a C- or better in BIOL 210 to participate. Students must also maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in order to participate. This program is open to all UMW students who have completed the prerequisite course, regardless of major or year of study.


Faculty-Led Program Scholarships are available to UMW students (deadlines apply).


See the program fees and payment due dates in the right column. Use the Make a Payment button below to pay your deposit and regular program payment. Use the Special Payment option to pay a special amount (such as additional insurance or payment in a different amount as a result of a scholarship award).

Online payees have the choice of either credit card or eCheck (ACH) payment. ACH transactions will be charged a flat fee of $0.50 per transaction. All credit card payments will incur a 2.85% service fee. For credit card payments, a minimum convenience fee of $3.00 will be applied to transactions over $20.00 and under $106.00.

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