Location: Rupununi River, Guyana
Courses: 3 Credit Hours in BIO 4905X Undergraduate Research in Biology or BIO 6905X Graduate Research in Biology
Program Dates: 31 December, 2014 - 17 January, 2015
Professor: Dr. Godfrey Bourne, Associate Professor of Evolutionary and Tropical Ecology at UMSL

Read about past participant Brian's research and experience here.

Application Deadline:
October 10, 2014

Course Description: Document northern Rupununi’s biodiversity—flora, fauna, habitats, and ecosystems—for future evaluation of human impacts (community based ecotourism and climate change). Participants travel to Karanambu Trust on the Rupununi River to evaluate biodiversity in the forests, savannas, and floodplains of the Rupununi from a scientific and journalistic point-of-view to produce a PowerPoint Presentation and PowerPoint Poster in Guyana at Karanambu, and a ‘FIELD NOTES’-like article as it appears in National Geographic Research & Exploration Journal with References, due on 31 January 2015; if well written, Bourne may publish it an international journal “Contributions to the Study of Biological Diversity.” Each student must study floral and/or faunal taxa.

This course is not for everyone—participants must be relatively healthy—expect living in close quarters, biting insects (bring lots of bug repellant and Benadryl [topical and oral]), encounters with spiders, snakes, mud, travel in motorized boats, some physical exertion, fascinating biodiversity, and bragging rights! Limited to 3-13 participants who must bear all program costs, and have a digital camera, and laptop comuter with virus-free flash drive with 4-8 GB memory. Also bring one or two University of Missouri-St. Louis T-shirts (medium) to share with your Makushi Indian colaborator.

Non-UMSL participants are welcome to apply!

Detailed program description and itinerary available!

Read a professional review of the location and program!

Students will stay in primitive accommodations (i.e., living in huts in the rainforest, cold showers with black-water from a spring, using flushing outhouses, etc.).


Estimated Costs*

Tuition (3 credits, 2014-2015 rates) $950 (ug) or $1,245 (gr)
Program Fee $1,700
Airfare $1,150
Meals & Personal Expenses


Total $3,900 or $4,195

*Based on 2013-2014 rates. Subject to change. Non-credit Program Fee: $2540

Program Fee includes: • airport exit tax from Guyana • primitive accommodations (see housing information) • all meals • overland trip to savanna ecosystem (Karanambu) on the Rupununi River.

Not included in the fees: • airfare • personal expenses • passport costs

Important Dates:

Application and Deposit Deadline: October 10
Acceptance Documents Deadline: November 14
Remaining Program Fee Deadline: November 14
Online Orientation Completion: November 14
Mandatory In-Person Oriention: 2-4pm November 7, 2014

For Additional Information:
Dr. Godfrey Bourne, Associate Professor of Evolutionary and Tropical Ecology
(bourneg@umsl.edu 314-516-6674)
Nate Daugherty, Study Abroad Coordinator (studyabroad@umsl.edu, 314-516-5229)

Application Process:
1. UMSL Study Abroad Application Form
2. Non-refundable** $500 program fee deposit (due at time of application). The program fees are payable by check or money order payable to UMSL.
3. Scholarship application and scholarship essay (UMSL students only)
4. Non-UMSL applicants are required to submit a $100 application fee. The application fee is payable by check or money order to 'UMSL'.
5. Non-UMSL students must also submit a letter of recommendation and transcript

UMSL tuition will be billed to your student account.


Flight Information: Students must book and pay for their own flights soon after being accepted into the program. Estimated at $1150, students should book a round-trip coach flight from STL to GEO flying out on December 2014 and returning on January 17, 2015.

Flight details: Coming soon!

Interview/Mandatory Orientation:
In October, all students must set up interviews with Dr. Bourne by calling 314-709-9134. In addition, all students are required to complete the online orientation for the program as well as an in-person group orientation, organized by the Program Coordinator. More information, including the fall orientation date, will be announced shortly after your acceptance.

* UMSL reserves the right to revise the program fee if there are fluctuations in the exchange rate. Participants are responsible for any increase in rates.
**Deposit will be refunded only if you are not selected to participate in the program.

What students are saying about the Guyana Study Abroad Program:
"It's an outstanding opportunity to immerse yourself into a safe tropical environment and unique local cultures." 2011 Participant

"There's no doubt that anyone could have a bad time at CEIBA...unless they happen to hug a cashew tree..." 2011 Participant