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Programs : Brochure

  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.3
Housing Option: Guest House Areas of Study: Arts and Sciences, Biology, Entomology, Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, International Studies
Rank/Class Status: 1-First-year Student, 2-Second-year Student, 3-Third-year Student, 4-Fourth-year Student, 5-Graduate Student Program Type: Faculty-Led
Summer Session: 4W1 Four Week Session 1 Academic Credit: Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology
Program Features: Research Ohio State Program Contact: Tiffany R. Pierskalla
Program Description:




This 4 Week Session 1 study abroad program will take place at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution (STRI) in Panama. STRI is one of the leading research institutions in the world and has been encouraging scientific advancement since 1923. With 38 resident staff scientists and hundreds of visiting tropical biologists, students will have a unique opportunity to become part of this vibrant scientific community. 

This intensive program will focus on evolutionary processes that shape the ecology and behavior of systems in a diverse tropical forest. Students will build skills in writing and experimental design as well as present to peers and instructors, honing public speaking skills while leading discussions to help develop research ideas. Participants will engage in fieldwork with the goal of generating publishable manuscripts. Graduate students will implement research projects that correspond to the broader aims of their graduate thesis. The few exceptional undergraduates invited to participate become completely immersed in the world of biological research and gain direct experience in graduate-level work.

Students from many areas of science are encouraged to apply. They will gain experience with 1) experimental design and proposal writing, 2) the implementation and trouble-shooting of field research, and 3) writing a manuscript for a peer-reviewed scientific journal. In addition, we plan educational excursions (e.g., Metropolitan Nature Park canopy crane, Culebra Nature Center, and Barro Colorado Island) and also have a fun day at the beach.


Learn more about the Barro Colorado Island and STRI.


Students will stay in dormitory-style housing and meals are provided by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The group will be based at the Gamboa Field Station, located near Soberania National Park.

Resident Directors

Dr. Rachelle Adams
Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology

Education Abroad Coordinator

Tiffany R. Pierskalla
Would you like to schedule an appointment? Click here to request one.



Courses and Credit

Accepted students will need to take, and successfully complete, the following courses Spring 2019 semester:
  • Undergraduate students: EEOB 3193: Independent Studies (1 credit)
  • Graduate students: EEOB 8896.02: Graduate Seminar: Behavior (1 credit)
Admitted participants are required to register for 3 hours of EEOB 5798 (3 credits) during the summer travel portion. Both Spring and Summer courses are required in order to participate on this program.

Students from many areas of science are encouraged to apply. They will gain experience with:
  • Experimental design and proposal writing
  • The implementation and troubleshooting of field research, 
  • Writing a manuscript for a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  • Planned educational excursions (e.g., Metropolitan Nature Park canopy crane, Culebra Nature Center, and Barro Colorado Island) and also have a fun day at the beach.



Application Requirement

Undergraduate student applicants must:
  • Enroll in, and successfully complete, EEOB 3193: Independent Studies (1 credit) in Spring 2019
  • Have a 2.3 GPA or higher
  • Have prior research experience. Students should describe this research experience in the personal statement.
Graduate student applicants must:
  • Enroll in, and successfully complete, EEOB 8896.02: Graduate Seminar: Behavior(1 credit) in spring 2019
  • Have a 2.3 GPA or higher
  • Graduate students must also email Dr. Adams(Adams.1970) with your CV and a cover letter stating your interests in the course and one or more Panama project ideas. Please CC your adviser on this email.

All students must also meet OIA's General Eligibility Requirements and Conditions for Participation. All students will also be required to participate in on-campus pre-departure orientations organized by the Office of International Affairs.

Please note that upon application, a $150 application fee will be assessed. The application fee will be refunded only if the applicant is not accepted or a written request to withdraw the application is submitted prior to the application deadline.


Passports are required for every Ohio State education abroad program. For many study abroad destinations, passport information is required to apply for an entry visa early as 6 months prior to departure). For information about apply for a passport, go to



Program Costs

Students are responsible for paying The Ohio State University tuition plus a $1,943 program fee. The program fee includes housing, meals, and excursions. It does not cover passports, international airfare, visas (if needed), or immunizations.  For the full cost of the program please refer to the program's budget sheet.

If a student withdraws or becomes ineligible any time 11 days after the acceptance notification, they will be held responsible for a cancellation fee. Please refer to OIA's Cancellation Policy.


Students should begin researching funding opportunities before they have been accepted into a study abroad program. Grants and Scholarship deadlines may occur before the study abroad program application deadline.



Information Sessions

  • Thursday, September 13 at 4:30 – 5:30 PM Enarson 160
  • Tuesday, October 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Enarson 100


U.S. Department of State: (travel advisories/country-specific safety information)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: (pre-travel health guidance)

Ohio State reserves the right to change without notice any statement contained herein, concerning but not limited to rules, policies, tuition, fees, curricula and courses. In the event of a change to an existing U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory, CDC Travel Health Notice or other risk designated criteria, the Office of International Affairs reserves the right to cancel any program prior to departure or while in progress. Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status is prohibited.


Please review this information about the Zika Virus and other pre-travel health considerations.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 11/01/2018
11/15/2018 05/03/2019 05/29/2019

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.