Costa Rica Winter Research Expedition
The CSU-LSAMP Costa Rica Winter Research Training Expedition is a beginning research experience in which students learn the foundations of inquiry-based research, including experimental design, research methods, and analysis while exploring the spectacular ecosystems of Costa Rica. Students receive instruction in the development of research questions, fundamentals of experimental design, sampling, hypothesis testing, and the responsible conduct of research, while engaging in hands-on activities across a wide variety of habitats and landscapes. Students with little or no research experience will benefit from participating in group research activities in terrestrial agroecology. All student participants will present on their research at the end of the program before they leave Costa Rica.
The CSU-LSAMP Costa Rica Winter Research Training Expedition is restricted to only CSU Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CSU-LSAMP) participants. Travel expenses (flights, local ground transportation, lodging, and meals) will be covered for all CSU-LSAMP student participating in the expedition. First and second year students are especially encouraged to apply. Read on for information on how STEM undergraduates can become LSAMP participants.
Applications for the 2024 CSU-LSAMP Costa Rica Winter Research Expedition are now closed. Details on future expeditions will become available in fall 2024.
- The 2024 CSU-LSAMP Costa Rica Winter Research Expedition will run January 1-19, 2024; students will fly on the 1st, landing in Costa Rica on January 2nd.
- Total immersion in tropical biodiversity: rainforest, cloud forest, mangroves, coffee plantations
- Selection of students is based on application questionnaire, academic transcripts, references, and interview
- Lower division students are particularly encouraged to apply, but the program is open to all CSU-LSAMP undergraduates.
Program Leaders: John "Buck" Banks, UROC Director, CSUMB
The 2024 CSU-LSAMP Costa Rica Winter Research Expedition will run January 1-19, 2023; students will fly on the 1st, landing in Costa Rica on January 2nd. A complete application includes the following:
1. Application form (found on InfoReady).
2. Your current college transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable).
3. Your transcript from any other college you have attended.
4. 2 Reference Names (professors or advisors).
Non-CSU Monterey Bay Students: Please use this guide to register for InfoReady.
Incomplete applications will not be reviewed, no exceptions. Contact Dr. John Banks, if you have questions regarding your application or any detail of the program.
Deadline is September 22, 2023 @12 p.m.
- Only CSU-LSAMP students are eligible for participation.
- CSU Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CSU-LSAMP) students admitted to the program will have all travel costs covered. This includes all meals, in-country travel, and lodging.
Students who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply.
- Only CSU-LSAMP students will be eligible to participate.
- Students with an interest in an intensive tropical research experience or any STEM research field.
- First & Second year students are especially encouraged to apply.
You do not have to have research experience to apply to this program. There is no minimum GPA requirement
What are the program dates?
The 2024 CSU-LSAMP Costa Rica Winter Research Expedition will run January 1-19, 2024; students will fly on the 1st, landing in Costa Rica on January 2nd. During the program, the group will travel to a few different locations across several different ecosystems in Costa Rica. On the last few days of the course, the group will travel back to San Jose and fly back to the United States.
Is there any course credit associated with participation in this program?
There is no course credit associated with this program.
I am not a first- or second-year, or transfer student. Am I still eligible to apply for this program?
The program is particularly designed for students who are at the very beginning stages of their exploration of the research processes used in ecology. In addition, one of the goals of the NSF funded CSU LSAMP program, which supports CSU-LSAMP participants, is to train students on the skills and techniques necessary for success in STEM careers. In particular, the CSU LSAMP program is eager to provide this type of training to students at the start of their academic careers. However, students who are later on in their academic careers are still invited to apply.
Do I have to be a STEM major to participate in this program?
Yes, because to be eligible for the LSAMP program and the full scholarship provided to LSAMP applicants, you must be a STEM major. The focus of the program is on Life Sciences research and the statistical and field-based research approaches necessary to investigate this field.
Does the application require transcripts?
The application does request transcripts.
Does the application require letters of recommendation?
As part of your application you will be asked to have two different references submit an evaluation of you and your personal and professional characteristics. Two references are required for a complete application.
The application process will ask you to provide your references' email address. Your reference will receive an email that includes a link for them to complete their reference of you. If there are any issues, they can always email Dr. Jessica Bautista at email@example.com for more information.
How do I apply for the LSAMP scholarship if I am already an LSAMP participant?
If you are already an LSAMP participant you simply need to indicate on your application that you are a CSU LSAMP participant by checking the appropriate box next to the question "Are you a current CSU-LSAMP student?" on the first page of the application.
How will I know what to bring? And what not to bring?
The Instructors and Facilitators for this program have many years of experience leading students on field research excursions in Costa Rica. They have used this experience and perspective to create detailed lists of exactly what to bring and what not to bring. If you are selected for this program you will very quickly receive all the information you need about how to prepare. If you still have questions you will be able to contact the instructors with any concerns or details you have.
International Air Travel: How is this arranged? Will I be flying and traveling internationally alone?
If you are feeling apprehensive about the prospect of traveling alone internationally, don't worry. If you are admitted to the Winter Research Expedition, your flight and travel arrangements will be arranged for you.
What are living accommodations like?
Living accommodations vary widely depending on what part of the country the group is in, but they are almost always communal. Expect to regularly be sharing rooms with your peers. Accommodation will vary from shared hotel rooms to open-air bunk houses.
How many students are typically selected each year to participate?
The number of participants is about 10.
What is LSAMP?
The goal of the CSU Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program is to increase the participation of individuals who face or have faced social, educational, or economic barriers to careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
To become a CSU LSAMP participant, students must:
If you are a CSUMB student, you can determine if you are eligible for the LSAMP eligibility and access the LSAMP Application and Additional Verification Form by clicking the link below. Once you have completed your application, turn a completed hardcopy of both forms in at the UROC office on the second floor of the library.If you are a student from another CSU, contact the CSU-LSAMP campus coordinator on your campus for more information and how to apply to LSAMP.
- Be an individual from a minority group who is underrepresented in STEM and has faced or faces social, educational, or economic barriers to careers in STEM.
- Be enrolled at a participating campus in an undergraduate major in STEM discipline or have expressed an interest in pursuing a STEM baccalaureate degree
- Be a U.S Citizen or Permanent Resident