Tropical Ecology in Belize


May 15 - May 29, 2017


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) or BSC 504LCA (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 Study Abroad and the Tropical Ecology Belize Director.


$4,200 undergraduate | $4,400 graduate

Cost includes tuition and fees, flight, mandatory travel insurance, program excursions, room and board. 


Students requiring financial aid should contact Southern Miss/ Office of Study Abroad. *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' Office of Study Abroad.

Application and Payment Deadlines

Completed online application, with $250 deposit, are due by February 10, 2017. Program deposits should be paid to the Office of Study Abroad. Balance of fees, less deposit, should be paid according to the regular summer schedule as outlined by the USM Business Services Office. Click here for more details on the payment process. The withdrawal deadline is February 20 by 5p.m.

Withdrawal Process and Policy

Program Directors:

Prof. J. Michael Sellers

Instructor & Introductory Laboratory Coordinator

Department of Biological Sciences




Nicole Phillips, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Biological Sciences




Mac H. Alford, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Curator of the Herbarium

Department of Biological Sciences





Program Coordinator

Celine Ingram
Office of Study Abroad
Make an appointment with Celine