a botanical garden at CSUN

Tropical Biology Semester


Leave a better planet behind

Submerge in complex ecosystems to study sustainability

Give to the Tropical Biology Semester

students pick oranges at an orange tree

A big part of sustainability practice is the study of its ecosystems. CSUN gives students the opportunity of a lifetime to study major ecosystems up close, learning about flora and fauna native to their environments in its Tropical Biology semester. Housed in the College of Science and Math, this 15-week semester is offered every two years, earning undergraduate and graduate students 16 credits. In spring 2020, students will visit diverse locations in Brazil, including the Cerrado, Pantanal and the Amazon.

The semester begins with coursework at CSUN that addresses biodiversity, zoology, ecology and conservation through lectures, labs and relevant literature. Students then spend seven weeks on location, submerging themselves in a completely new environment, conducting field projects that incorporate experimental design, field techniques and data analysis. During the on-site field portion of the semester, students design experiments, gather data and present preliminary results. The semester cumulates back at CSUN where students summarize field results, analyze data collected during field experiments and present results in a poster session similar to those at scientific conferences.

The study of our natural ecosystems allows us to better understand and thereby protect our environment. By keeping our natural resources in ecological balance, we maintain the health of our planet. What better way to learn these ecosystems than in person? Enable more students this once in a lifetime experience to study and explore the world’s complex ecosystems so that we can leave a better environment for the next generation. Support the Tropical Biology Semester with a gift for student scholarships.