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* Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Winter Break in Todos Santos, Mexico
Todos Santos, Mexico (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winter Break
Budget Sheets Winter Break
CSU Deadlines / Program Dates:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 2018 10/01/2017
Rolling Admission 01/01/2018 01/13/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students applying to CSU-sponsored programs will be notified of decision within two weeks of application submission. Students applying to non-CSU sponsored programs need to contact their program provider for decision dates.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Recommended Programs: Biological Science and Zoology
Grade Point Average:
Language(s) of Instruction:
Program Coordinator:
Sarah Vowels
Program Type: CSU Short Term Program
Areas of Study:
Interdisciplinary, Natural Resources, Natural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Program Description:

Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Winter Break

in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Birds in CactusTodos Santos Group Photo WB 17Todos beach overlook

This winter break program at CSU’s Todos Santos Center in Mexico will focus on coursework for students in the Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (FWCB) Program. Students can earn up to 3 credits that will count directly towards their FWCB degree. Students will have the opportunity to work with and learn from local biologists, faculty and students from institutions in Baja California Sur.
Check out this video from the 2016 program!

Program At-a-Glance

WHEN:  January 1-13, 2018 (Tentative)
NOTE: Weekly group meetings will be held on the CSU campus and/or online during the fall term.  

CREDITS: All committed students will be registered for FW 373A: Travel Abroad: Wildlife Conservation (3 credits) through CSU's Division of Continuing Education. All tuition and program charges will be billed at the start of the spring term.

COST: See Budget Sheet for details.  The program fee includes tuition and fees for three credit hours through the Colorado State University Division of Continuing Education, lodging and most meals, medical insurance, many excursions, on-site transportation, and faculty support.  Program fees do not include international airfare, passport, books, and personal spending money.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Applicants for this program are eligible for scholarships through the Office of International Programs.

PROGRAM LEADER: Dr. Paul Doherty, Professor, from the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:  Minimum 2.5 GPA. Instructor approval. Good disciplinary standing. Undergraduates are invited to apply.

Academic Overview

This Winter Break CSU faculty-led program is comprised of one three-credit CSU course (FW 373A).  This course will satisfy the FWCB major’s wildlife elective or a technical elective as well as provide students with first-hand exposure to the beauty and ecological wonders of Baja California Sur.  Students will experience many lectures on various overseas ecosystems and natural resource conservation programs. They will also have the opportunity to have discussions with local ecologists and natural resource managers.  This travel abroad experience will focus on wildlife and ecological communities, such as marine and desert wildlife, which CSU students seldom see because of Fort Collin's geographic location. 

Note:  Accepted students will begin meeting weekly (in person or online) during the fall prior to cover some of the lecture content for the course.  Fall term meetings will be coordinated based on student and instructor availability.  Fall class participation is required since the course content makes up 1 credit of this 3 credit course.  Students will be registered and graded for all 3 credits during the Winter Break (early Spring term), which is also when the final bills are posted in RamWeb.  Students will have the opportunity to use Spring term financial aid as well as additional scholarships to help pay the cost of this program. 

Tentative schedule for January 2018:

 Day 1-2  Transfer from SJD Los Cabos Airport to Refugio Ranchero.  Ranching has been an important part of the inland cultural and social history of Baja California Sur.  Through conversations with local rancheros and hiking excursions in the Sierra mountains, we will learn about the local community and how the rancheros interact with the environment.
 Day 3  Transfer from Ranchero to Cabo Pulmo Marine National Park.  Formerly a commercial fishing location, Cabo Pulmo transitioned to a preserved National Park.  Through snorkeling, we will learn about the marine wildlife at Cabo Pulmo.
 Day 4-7  Transfer to La Paz where we will take a boat to Espiritu Santo island on the Sea of Cortez where we will be camping.  Activities include swimming with whale sharks, visiting and interacting in the water with a sea lion colony, and exploring marine island ecosystems by sea kayak.  In addition, we will visit offshore islands to learn about marine bird nesting colonies and marine ecology.  On the last day, we will transfer to the CSU Todos Santos Center.
 Day 8  Visit a cactus sanctuary in the desert to focus on the cardón cactus community and understand how important this keystone species is for many wildlife species. 
 Day 9   Visit the Todos Santos La Poza estuary – a critically imperiled habitat that is home to the endangered Belding’s Yellowthroat. We will learn about the local bird species and estuarine habitat.
 Day 10  Visit local tide pools at Los Cerritos to understand how Pacific coast tide pools differ from the Sea of Cortez ecology explored earlier.
 Day 11  Transfer to the Marine Turtle Research Center.  The  Center conducts turtle nest monitoring at a primary nesting beach on the Pacific Coast.  Marine turtle biology, conservation and habitat preservation will be the focus of  our visit with  the opportunity for students to release hatchling sea turtles.
 Day 12  Continued day at the Marine Turtle Reserach Center.  Transfer to airport hotel in Los Cabos.
 Day 13  Depart for the U.S. via hotel airport shuttle.


Todos Santos is located in beautiful Baja California Sur, just an hour north of Cabo San Lucas.  Students will have the opportunity to enjoy this quiet town, just a mile from beaches on the Pacific Ocean.  This 2 week program will be rich with excursions and experiential learning opportunities in Todos Santos, La Paz, and along the beaches and deserts of the region.  Students also will visit diverse ecosystems, including visits to the Pacific Ocean, Sea of Cortez, estuaries, deserts and mountains.  They will have the opportunity to learn about the natural history of fish and wildlife species, understand wildlife management and conservation history, and identify common and contrasting wildlife management practices, so that they might integrate wildlife ecology principles into management actions.

For more information, click here.

Housing and Meals

Accommodations during the trip include the CSU Todos Santos Center as well as camping while on remote excursions.   Most meals will be provided and are included in the program fee.

Turtles going to the oceanmx_TodosSantos_Downtown