Ecology and Conservation of Wildlife in the Neotropics – HOW TO APPLY

You can download the application form here: Application_form_BIOEE2525/2526/2527.


Feel free to email Leo (LC736) or Irby (IJL2) with any questions, even if you are simply considering this course. The application asks for some simple information regarding your academic background, as well as several short essay-style questions. Please take the application seriously, as interest in the course is likely to be high and we plan to enroll only 12-16 students.

Application Timing: The “7 week session” classes in the Fall have a special enrollment deadline: they start in mid-October and can be added until that time of the Fall semester, so it is not necessary to sign up for them during the Spring semester pre-enroll period. Students potentially interested in the Patagonia field course should however be sure to arrange their Fall semester schedule so that if accepted they can add the Patagonia class without disrupting the rest of their class schedule. The class meeting times in Fall (starting mid-October) are Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:45-9:55 AM.

We will run the formal application process for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 field course during the first month of classes in the Fall semester. Applications are accepted at any time, but the last date to apply is Wednesday, October 2nd. We will notify accepted students within a week after that deadline.

Special application procedure for current and incoming freshmen: first-year students often have greater class enrollment constraints than more advanced students. We will therefore evaluate any applications from Class of 2022 and Class of 2023 students at the time of application — we’ll either accept you immediately or put you on the wait-list for the standard early Fall application review.

Important note about passports: Note that all accepted students must have a valid passport at the time of their application, so be sure to apply for a passport well in advance if you do not have one, or if your passport will expire before August 2020.


FAQs about applications and eligibility:

Q: I’m interested in this course–how can I enroll?

A: As is normal for courses with special application requirements, you cannot register for the course without an enrollment code from the instructor. To be considered for the course, please complete the course application and return it to us as soon as possible.

Q: Will my financial aid cover the course fee and/or airfare?

A: This depends on your specific financial aid situation; the best way to check is to talk to one of the counselors in the financial aid office. We will be happy to provide that office with the complete information on the course and its costs that they will need in order to advise you about financial aid possibilities.

Q: Are there any special sources of financial support for this experience?
A: There are no special financial resources available that are specific to this particular course. However, many students have received partial support from Cornell, usually through an international travel grant. That program is now centralized under the Global Cornell initiative (, making it easier to apply for funding from various sources with only a single application. Deadlines may vary in future years, but in Fall 2015 the deadline for funding applications was 1 October.

Q: I have no previous field biology experience; am I eligible?

A: Definitely. This is meant as an immersive introduction to the process of doing high-quality field biology.

Q: I’m not a Biology major; am I eligible?

A: Probably, but you tell us. What matters more than your academic major is your interest and enthusiasm for our course themes. These are real courses with real academic expectations, not a holiday trip pretending to be an academic experience. Our class size is small and the instructor:student ratio advantageous, allowing us to tailor our teaching to each student’s individual background. Bottom line: don’t take yourself out of the running just because you are majoring in some other area; in teaching past Cornell field courses on several continents, some of our most interactive and memorable student participants were from majors far from Biology, from English to Engineering to ILR and the Hotel School.


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