Designed to introduce the student to the ecology, natural history, and conservation programs at work in Costa Rica. The course will prepare the student through studies of major ecological principles, tropical ecology in general and of Costa Rica specifically, and the major ecosystems of Costa Rica. The historical, economic, and cultural aspects of Costa Rica and their relationship to resource conservation efforts will be examined. The culmination of the course will be a nine-day travel experience to Costa Rica, where the class will visit several major ecological systems and conservation areas. The lab portion of the course will consist of the nine-day excursion to Costa Rica through the NHTI-sponsored Culture Quest trip. The travel portion of this course is required. During the time in Costa Rica, students will apply what they have learned to understand the different ecosystems visited, identify tropical plants and animals, and appreciate the threats to and efforts to conserve the unique biodiversity of Costa Rica. (Prerequisite: High school Biology with lab with a grade of C or higher; high school Chemistry with lab with a grade of C or higher.) The cost of the trip to Costa Rica is not included in the tuition for this course. Students are responsible for all costs of this trip.