Courses Take Delaware Valley University Students on International Trips

Apr 20, 2018

Instead of taking time off, students in three Delaware Valley University classes traveled over Spring Break to immerse themselves in the subjects they’re studying. DelVal students went to Costa Rica, Ireland, and The Galápagos Islands in March as part of special courses designed to provide real-world, hands-on experiences. 

The University’s Tropical Ecology course took students to Costa Rica from March 8 to March 19. Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Greg George and Laura George, a biology faculty member, accompanied the students. While in Costa Rica, students went on hikes to observe wildlife and took field notes. The trip included night hikes to look for reptiles and amphibians and day hikes to see parrots, macaws, monkeys and other wildlife. After hikes, the class compared field notebooks and sightings each day. 

A group of students from DelVal.

Courtesy: Elizabeth Powers. Elizabeth Powers ’19 in Costa Rica for Delaware Valley University’s Tropical Ecology course.

“The trip was amazing, and it was a once in a lifetime experience to hike through the jungles with a professor who is trained in ecology,” said Elizabeth Powers ’19, a biology major who is specializing in zoology. “You would see things that you would never see if you just went on your own. This learning experience is something that I’m going to take with me forever.”

Powers said she thinks having had this experience in the field will help her when she starts her job search.  

This year’s Place Studies course, led by Dr. Michael Stamps and Dr. Brian Lutz of the English department, introduced students to Irish literature, history, and culture before taking students on an 11-day tour of Ireland.


A group of students from DelVal.

Courtesy: Dr. Michael Stamps. The DelVal group in Ireland. 

Audrey Morgan ’18 particularly appreciated how the course corresponded with the trip’s itinerary, which began by taking students to the Dublin of James Joyce and The Abbey Theatre.

“Being able to visit the actual locations that these writers wrote about brought everything full circle and made me excited to continue the course,” said Morgan. “I'm so grateful for the experience and will carry the memories from this trip with me for a lifetime.”

The Galápagos Islands trip was led by Dr. Tanya Casas, interim dean of business and humanities and Reg Hoyt, co-chair of the Department of Animal Biotechnology and Conservation. The trip allowed students to learn about both policy studies and wildlife management and conservation. Students visited the Sierra Negra Volcano and observed wildlife such as blue-footed boobies, tortoises, sea lions, and iguanas. 

A group of students from DelVal.

Courtesy: Dr. Tanya Casas. The Galápagos Islands group from Delaware Valley University enjoys dinner on the beach.