Travel Courses

In addition to our traditional courses, we offer travel courses: Tropical Biology (Biology 195), Philippine Tropical Organisms and Ecosystems (Biology 295), and Extreme Physiology (Biol 395)  These courses are limited enrollment and run during Intersessions (January) only.

Biology 195 - Tropical Biology

The Tropical Biology course is run on odd years and is open to Biology majors and non-majors. This course, taught by Dr. Marc Seid, focuses on tropical ecosystems in Central or South America. Biology majors may this course, but it does not count as a major elective. For non-majors, Tropical Biology counts as a natural science elective. This course is currently being redeveloped by Dr. Seid and will be offered in the near future.


Trekking along the old lava flows at Arenal, Costa Rica

Biology 295 - Philippine Tropical Organisms and Ecosystems

Read Katie Tempaugh's article on this course


Philippines Tropical Organisms and Ecosystems course runs on even years and is open to Biology and related majors (Biochemistry, Biomathematics, Biophysics, Neuroscience, other majors only by instructor approval). This course, taught by Dr. George Gomez, focuses on Philippine ecosystems and biota as representatives of tropical biology. For Biology majors, this course counts towards the Organisms or Populations area requirements. For all majors, this counts towards the Cultural Diversity requirement.

While the plane flight to the Philippines is long, it is worth it! The Philippines is famous for having among the most biodiverse reefs and oceans in the world. In addition, different ecosystems are in close proximity to one another, allowing easy access to different tropical regions. In addition, the course includes interaction with local tribespeople.

Fechnel Michel

Fechnel Michel learns the traditional Aeta fishing dance in Pamulaklakin, Zambales.

Jennifer Sidari with Tatay Kasuy, an Aeta tribal elder
  Jennifer Sidari with Tatay Kasuy, an Aeta tribal elder who took the students into the forest and showed students how the Aeta live off the land.

Mabinay Caves

Spelunking in Mabinay Caves (above); Mark Romanowski snorkels in Apo Island (right), Negros Oriental

Michelle in Dimakya Island, Palawan Mount Pinatubo
Michelle Kuznicki meets a school of jacks, Dimakya Island, Palawan A view from inside the crater lake at Mount Pinatubo

Biology 395 – Extreme Physiology

This course is taught every two years by Dr. Terrence Sweeney and Prof. Tara Fay.
Extreme Physiology 2015 Grand Canyon

Visit the course website here.


Extreme Physiology

Extreme Physiology is designed to expose the student to the stunning and diverse environments of Arizona in the course of investigating human physiological adaptation to extreme environmental and aerobic challenges. Utilizing the student as both subject and investigator, challenges will include exposure to the desert environment, prolonged bouts of exercise (e.g., cycling, hiking, running, skiing, swimming), and extreme changes in altitude.


The student will document his/her progression of cardiovascular and respiratory conditioning throughout the 3 1/2 weeks. Accompanying instruction will explore environmental challenges, adaptive mechanisms of native flora and fauna, and compensatory mechanisms operating in key human physiological systems.