Internet of Wild Things in Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí
Internet of Wild Things in Costa Rica
  • Apply Now
Dates, Deadlines, and Costs
TermApp DeadlineStart DateEnd DateCost
SummerFebruary 25early Juneearly JulyBudget
Program Information
  • GPA
  • 2.75
  • Language of Instruction
  • English
  • Foreign Language Requirement
  • No
  • Class Eligibility
  • Graduate, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
  • Program Open To
  • UA and Non-UA Students
  • Credit Type
  • UA Direct Credit
  • Level of Study
  • Graduate, Undergraduate
  • Housing Options
  • Residence Hall
  • Program Type
  • UA Faculty-led
Program Overview

Internet of Wild Things in Costa Rica is not running in Summer of 2019, updates for Summer 2020 coming soon!

This program is based out of La Selva Research Station in Costa Rica. Working in teams, students will build, program and deploy microcontroller-based field sensors to gather environmental and animal behavioral information in a dense tropical jungle and naturally created clearings. Students from many fields such as biology, engineering, and information science will learn data discovery, automated data collection, organization, analysis, dissemination, preservation and analysis of field generated research data.

Courses Offered

Students will enroll in INFO 497/597: Biodiversity Informatics for 6 UA units.

Faculty Lead

Dr. Bryan Heidorn,


INFO 497/597 is a hands-on course. We will examine the interrelationship of temperature, humidity, light levels and other conditions with the plants and animals that live in virgin rainforest and natural clearings caused by recent storms. You to learn to build and deploy scientific instruments as we explore hundreds of acres of tropical forests, fields and streams. We will participate in a group research study and design individual experiments. Success will depend on the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams, think creatively to solve problems, collect well-structured information about natural phenomena and present that information in graphical, written and oral form. Students must be able to work in a hot and sometimes wet environment.


La Selva Biological Research Station is situated at the confluence of two major rivers in the Caribbean lowlands of northern Costa Rica & comprises 1,600 hectares of tropical wet forests and disturbed lands. It averages over 13 feetof rainfall that is spread rather evenly throughout the year. The Station is bordered on the south by Braulio Carrillo National Park, which contains more than 46,000 hectares of forest land and is the core conservation unit of the 91,000-hectare Cordillera Volcánica Central Biosphere Reserve. This reserve, consisting of both La Selva's protected environs and the Park, has four major tropical life zones and includes more than 5,000 species of vascular plants, of which more than 700 species are trees.

The fauna is similarly diverse. Large predators include jaguars, pumas, and bushmasters. Thousands of arthropod species are being currently recorded at La Selva, and more than 400 species of resident and migratory birds have been sighted in the reserve, representing almost half of Costa Rica's bird species.

Building on a strong base of systematic biology and evolutionary biology, research at La Selva has diversified to include ecosystem-level projects, physiological ecology, soil science, and forestry trials of native tree species. These studies have resulted in the publication of more than 1,600 scientific articles, theses, and books and perhaps another 1,000 write-ups of course projects.

La Selva's juxtaposition of protected ecosystems and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities is unique in the world's wet tropics. An extensive trail system of more than 50 kilometers provides access to a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic habitats.


Students will stay La Selva Research Station in shared dorm-style accommodations. Breakfast, Lunch and dinner will be provided, please let your study abroad coordinator know if you have any dietary restrictions.



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