Tropical Ecology in Belize


May 15 - 30, 2016


The program 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 subsistence farming.

(BSC 404 will meet for lecture in the second eight weeks (after spring break), where academic topics in tropical geography, climate, biomes, organisms, ecology, and conservation and not-so-academic topics like health, safety, and appropriate behavior in Belize and Guatemala will be covered.)

Academic Credit and Course Registration

USM students need to register themselves as soon as summer registration is available. Your personalized course registration code will be sent to you via email. Non-USM students will be registered by your program coordinator as soon as summer registration becomes available. Click here for more information on course registration.


  • BSC 404LCA (3 semester hours)


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.



Cost includes flight, program transportation, excursions, accommodations, three hours of tuition, mandatory insurance and program meals. 


Students requiring financial aid should contact the Southern Miss International Programs Office. *Please note: in order to receive financial aid in the summer, you must be registered for 4 semester hours.

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

Completed online application, with $250 deposit, are due by TBA. Program deposits should be paid to the Office of International Programs. Balance of fees, less deposit, or appropriate proof of financial aid is due by TBA. The balance of fees should be paid directly to the USM Business Office. Click here for more details on the payment process.

Program Cancellation

Except in cases of academic ineligibility or course cancellation, program deposits are non-refundable. Once you have applied to a particular program, paid your deposit, and been accepted to participate, the Office of International Programs will begin paying fees on your behalf. If you cancel your participation on a program after fees have been paid out on your behalf, those fees will be billed to your student account.  If you must cancel, log in to your program application and withdraw. In addition, send written notice to The Office of International Programs.

Program Director

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

Program Coordinator

Melissa Ravencraft, Coordinator
Office of International Programs
Phone: 601.266.5009
Make an appointment with Melissa