Tropical Biology and Primatology, July 2015 | Field Projects International

Tropical Biology and Primatology, July 2015


Where: Explore the Los Amigos Biological Field Station

Deadline: June 30, 2015

Download the syllabus

Scholarships: Apply here, deadline March 14, 2015


Institution: Washington University in St. Louis University College

Course Number: U69 3668

Credits:  3

Cost: $620 per undergraduate credit; $865 per graduate credit (separate from course costs)

Deadline: July 13, 2015 (can be extended)

PLEASE read our FAQs for detailed instructions on how to apply


Course Description:

This course is organized around several discrete modules in the field of tropical biology and primatology. At the start of the course, students begin by learning basic orienteering and navigation skills, while becoming familiar with safety and ethics concerning living and working in the Amazon rainforest. Then, accompanied by assigned literature (primary research conducted in the area or at the site itself), the course leads students through a diverse range of topics – ornithology, primatology, herpetology, entomology, mammalogy and botany. Along the way, students receive training in a variety of practical skills, such as behavioral observation, radio telemetry, recording and manipulating spatial data, and animal handling. Students will also conduct independent projects centered around a topic of their choice (explore previous projects), and learn how to write a proposal, design experiments, conduct research, analyze data, and present their research to the scientists at the field station. Finally, we stress at each stage the importance of considering the conservation of this special habitat, and the impact we have on it.

Other Course Activities:

Along the way, participants will undergo a variety of experiences: boat trips up the Los Amigos River, exploration of ox-bow lakes, lifting prints from pug-marks, night hikes, a visit to a mammal clay lick, and climbing the canopy tower.

We also offer longer field training positions for those interested in participating in research at the site.


There are a few simple requirements to determine eligibility for this course:

  1. You must be at least 18 years of age at the time of the course.
  2. You must have medical insurance, and provide proof of such insurance to us to complete your reservation.
  3. We have no citizenship requirements. Anyone is welcome to apply. You must obtain visas independently if necessary.
  4. You do not need any training in biology or primatology – our course is structured to accommodate people from a variety of backgrounds.
  5. Courses have a maximum capacity of 20 participants. If you are concerned that you will lose your spot, please contact us to confirm how many spots we have left.

Things you should consider before applying
  1. This is a remote field site, only accessible by boat, with basic accommodation.  Make sure that you are aware of the lifestyle changes you need to make when living in the rainforest.
  2. All participants must sign standard liability waivers for our program and for the field station.
  3. If a minimum course enrollment is not reached by the registration deadline, PrimatesPeru reserves the right to cancel the course.
  4. Please read our cancellation policy carefully, as no exceptions can be made after the deadlines mentioned.
  5. Since most activities are conducted outdoors, our exact schedule is weather dependent.


  • The cost for the course is $2150.
  • First installment: $400, paid to reserve a place in the course
  • Second installment: $1750, paid by July 1, 2015
  • Of the first installment of  $400, $100 is a nonrefundable registration fee
  • All prices are listed in USD.

The course fee covers the following:

  • An airport pickup on July 20, 2015 in Puerto Maldonado, and a drop-off on August 10th, 2015
  • Accommodation in Puerto Maldonado for one night at the beginning and the end of the course (includes breakfast)
  • Transportation to and from the field station once per participant
  • Lodging and meals at the field station
  • Training and activities related to the course provided by experienced instructors
  • Field equipment to be used in course activities
  • Access to the internet while at the field station, although it is slow and dependent on the weather

The course fee does not cover the following:

  • Travel from your home to Puerto Maldonado in Perú
  • Medical insurance, which is a requirement for the course
  • Food in Puerto Maldonado
  • Costs related to exigent circumstances under which a participant requires an early departure from the field station
  • Medical costs of any kind, for any reason
  • Binoculars – each participant should try to bring their own pair of binoculars
  • Field boots, headlamp/flashlight and other personal effects required for the course
  • University credit for the course

  • The registration fee of $100 is nonrefundable under any circumstances.
  • If you cancel on or before the registration deadline of June 1, 2015, we will refund all course fees paid in full (except for the registration fee of $100).
  • If you cancel your reservation after the registration deadline, you will be refunded 40% of your course fee.
  • Course fees cannot be refunded for cancellations made after July 1, 2015.
  • If we cancel this course due to mitigating reasons, a full refund of all fees paid, including the registration fee, will be made available to all participants.

Course Information
  • Course Id:P-J2015
  • Credits:3
  • Dates:July 20 - Aug 9

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