Tropical Ecology in Belize

12 - 26 May 2014

Class will meet once a week during the spring semester (tentatively, 1:00 – 2:40 p.m. Fridays). The lecture will provide an overview of the ecology of tropical ecosystems worldwide and orient students to the rainforests, savannahs, mangroves, and coral reefs of Central America.

Laboratory Description
The laboratory will consist of two weeks in the field during the summer, principally in Belize, but also briefly in Guatemala, where we will study tropical flora and fauna in several different ecosystems: coral reefs, pine savannahs, rainforests, and mangrove swamps. We will interact with groups working on the conservation of plants and animals in Central America and with locals who practice subsistance farming.


  • undergraduates: BSC 404 (1 hr)/BSC 404LCA (2 hrs)
  • graduates: BSC 504 (1 hr)/BSC 504LCA (2 hrs)

Minimum program eligibility requirements include the completion of at least 28 semester hours with an overall 2.0 GPA for undergraduates and graduate standing for graduate students. All students must be in clear academic standing. Students must also have taken at least BSC 111 and BSC 111L or BSC 103 and BSC 103L. Final authority over enrollment rests with the Director of International Programs and the Tropical Ecology Belize Director.

$3,799 (2 hours of undergraduate CA credit)
$3,999 (2 hours of gradute CA credit)

Includes flight, on-site transportation, accommodations, some meals, entrance fees, guided tours, and tuition for the two hour course.

Students who are accepted for participation in the Tropical Ecology in Belize Program may apply for financial aid if they meet federal requirements for a Guaranteed Student Loan. Students requiring financial aid should contact Frances Sudduth at the Southern Miss International Programs Office before requesting a study abroad financial aid application from their university's Financial Aid Office.

Pell Grants, faculty/staff dependent scholarships, faculty/staff tuition waivers, and graduate assistantships are also accepted. Students are advised to begin the financial aid process well in advance of these deadlines. Students should apply for financial aid through the school in which they are currently enrolled and seeking a degree.

Financial aid agreements between Southern Miss and other universities are available, if requested. If more information is needed, contact the Southern Miss International Programs Office.


Application and Payment Deadlines (subject to change)
Completed online application, with $250 deposit, will be accepted until 17 March 2014, space permitting. Southern Miss will acknowledge receipt of applications and students will be informed of their registration status. The balance of fees will be due on 21 March 2014. Applications are processed in the order of receipt. Students may apply at any time prior to the deadline and are urged to apply early.

Cancellations and Refunds
Except in cases of academic ineligibility or course cancellation, deposits are non-refundable. Fees, exclusive of deposit, are refundable if written notification is received prior to the payment deadline, 21 March 2014. Thereafter, no refunds will be available. The International Programs Office should be notified, in writing, of all cancellations.

Assistance and Information
The University of Southern Mississippi
Office of International Programs
118 College Drive #5069
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
Phone: 601.266.4344
Fax: 601.266.5699

Mac H. Alford, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Curator of the Herbarium
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Dr. #5018
Hattiesburg, MS 39406