This course will begin in San Diego, CA, and travel to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the nation’s largest desert state park, for an introduction to desert environments. After acclimation, background material, and exploring the park, students will travel to Baja California, Mexico by van, where they will stay at two remote, rustic field stations, one in the Sea of Cortez’s Bahia De Los Angeles Biosphere Reserve and the other in the United Nation’s Valle De Los Cirios Biosphere Preserve. Students will be immersed in desert, island, and marine ecology and conservation issues through a combination of field visits, lectures, group discussions, and group projects. Frequent 1-5 mile hikes to remote field sites will be common to observe systems and learn natural history, species identification, and species adaptions for living in desert environments. The final unit of the course includes daily boating excursions to and snorkeling offshore of Midriff Islands within the Bahia De Los Angeles Biosphere Reserve. Students will develop skills at field identification of desert plants and animals, standard scientific field note writing, and conservation issues in a global and culturally comparative context.
WSU Sponsoring Unit: School of the Environment
External Partner: Vermilion Sea Institute
Program Dates: May 22nd-June 9th, 2019
(Note: Program starts and ends in San Diego, CA. Participants must arrive on May 22nd).
Program Eligibility Requirements:
- Be 18 years or older at the time of the program.
- Be in good academic standing at WSU.
- Be in good standing with the Office of Student Conduct.
- Be a current WSU student (matriculating or non-degree seeking).
Please Note: A minimum number of participants is needed for this program.
Program Cost Estimate (Fixed Expenses & Estimated Additional): $5,647
Program costs are categorized as those billed by WSU (Fixed Expenses) and those not billed by WSU (Estimated Additional Expenses). A breakdown of these costs can be found below. For payment due dates please scroll to the “Billing Schedule”.
Fixed Expenses Billed by WSU
|Global Learning Application Fee
|International Insurance Fee
|Total Paid to WSU
*Participation Expense includes excursions, accommodation, and program related in-country travel.
Estimated Additional Expenses*
|Books and Supplies
|Total Estimated Additional Expenses
*All additional costs are ESTIMATED and may vary. These costs are not billed by WSU and are the sole responsibility of the participant.
**Please see the “Destination” tab for additional passport and visa information.
This billing schedule is for the Fixed Expenses billed by WSU only and does not include Estimated Additional Expenses that are the responsibility of the participant.
Refund Policy: Participants are responsible for the Fixed Expenses of the program once they have committed to the program application and the application deadline has passed.
Financial Aid Disbursement Alert: Participants eligible for financial aid can use aid toward this program. Please note that per federal regulations, financial aid is released on the first day of the regular WSU semester, or ten days prior to the participant’s program start date, whichever is LATER. Program payment due dates may be before aid is released. Participants must budget accordingly.
|Financially Responsible as of February 1st, 2019
|Participation Expense 1st Payment
||February 18, 2019
|February 22, 2019
|Participation Expense 2nd Payment
||March 15, 2019
| 6 credits WSU Tuition
This program is a 6 credit program.
Students take two courses
- SOE 492: Field Ecology & Island Biogeography (3 credits)
- SOE 492: Desert Plant Ecology (3 credits)
SOE 204 and 300 or BIO 372
Grades and GPA:
All courses will calculate into student’s WSU cumulative GPA unless noted as a “Non-WSU Course”.
- Will not calculate into student’s cumulative WSU GPA, but will factor into Major and Minor GPA’s.
- Courses and grades will appear on MyWSU and WSU transcript.
- These have a non WSU transcript provided. Participants should anticipate transcripts taking two to four months to arrive at WSU.
All faculty-led participants are required to attend the orientation sessions listed below prior to departure. Participants will be notified regarding the date and times for those orientations which are not noted as being online after the program has been officially confirmed.
Global Learning Pre-Departure Orientation: There is an online session that participants will have access to in the final stages of their Global Learning application. Additionally, there is an in person country specific component.
Faculty Directed Orientation: These take place over multiple sessions and will be planned by the program faculty director.
The Baja California Peninsula is a peninsula in Northwestern Mexico. It separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California. The peninsula extends 1,247 km from Mexicali, Baja California in the north to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur in the south.
: In summer, the average temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius (83° Fahrenheit).
Students accommodations are included in the program costs. They will be staying in dormitories at the Field Stations of the Vermilion Sea Institute.
Meals & Personal Spending: Students should budget for additional meals and shopping. Please see the "Estimated Additional Expenses" in the Cost tab for a rough figure on what is typically needed. This will depend on your personal preferences, so please plan accordingly.
Passport & Visa Details
It is each participant’s responsibility to acquire a valid passport to travel internationally.
United States citizens can use the links below for information on how and where to apply for a United States passport:
Unless otherwise noted below, it is the responsibility of the participant to determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program based on their nationality, and to apply for any such visas. Some visas may require a fee or that applicants travel to the nearest Consulate or Embassy to apply in person.
United States citizens can use the link below to determine if a visa is required for the destination and how to acquire the necessary visa.
- United States Department of State
- If visiting for 180 days or more you require an entry visa for U.S. citizens (as of 12/3/2018).
- Please Note: Information presented here may change, regardless of what is stated here YOU are responsible for ensuring you have any required visa and for any visa costs.
Non-United States citizens are required to meet with the Global Services Department for United States entry and exit requirements. Check visa requirements for your host country/countries based on your country of citizenship. Also, you may need to obtain an entry visa for Chile. WSU Global Learning can assist with any official WSU documentation needed to get the visa.
How to Apply
- Please Note: There is no application fee for starting an application.
Before the Deadline:
After the Deadline:
- To apply for this program click the "Apply Now" button located above.
- You will then have an application in "Application Phase". Complete application materials:
- Signature Documents
- Material Submissions (Electronic and/or Physical)
- Online Trainings
- In-Person Meetings (if applicable)
Please Note: Items which say “NOT Required by Deadline” can be submitted after the deadline but are due before you depart to go abroad.
- Once all materials have been completed, your application will be moved to either the “pending” or “accepted” phase.
- “Accepted” Phase: your application has met all Global Learning and program specific requirements and you have been accepted to the program, conditional on whether or not you commit by the deadline.
- “Pending” Phase: your application has met all Global Learning and program specific requirements, and your application is being reviewed before your participation is determined. After review, if you are accepted your application will move to the “Accepted” phase.
- Commit to the program: Once in the “accepted” phase, you will see a box appear asking you to “Commit” or “Decline” your participation on the program.
- If you click “Commit”: You have committed to participate in your program and accept all responsibilities associated with commitment.
- If you click “Decline”: Your application will be withdrawn.
- After you commit and are in "Committed phase", complete:
- Required orientations (see “Orientation” tab for more information)
- Remaining or new applications items (questionnaires or material items) which were not due before the deadline.
- Any requested material items specific to your program.
- Prepare to Depart!
- Apply for a visa (if required)
- Buy airfare (if not included in your program)
- Start packing!
How to Fund Your Program
Financial Planning: Know Your Budget!
- Review the costs and payment due dates of this program carefully
- Financial Aid recipients should speak with Student Financial Services
- Review your Faculty-Led and Financial Planning (FLFP) training (see orientations tab)
- Discuss fees and expenses with any financial contributors (i.e. spouse, parents, guardians
- Know what funds you have to spend before and during the program
- Create your budget
- Explore additional financing (scholarships, funding sources, etc.)
Consider asking your home or college community groups and organizations about additional funding resources. Groups may include:
- Rotary International, Kiwanis, Sorority or Fraternity or Religious Organizations
- Private Businesses
- Online Fundraising
Global Learning Department