1997 Ethnographic Field School in Costa Rica

Tim Wallace (twallace@NANDO.NET)
Mon, 14 Oct 1996 17:24:07 -0400

Please pass along this notice about my 1997 Summer field school to any
students you feel might be interested. If you'ld like some flyers and
some application forms, please let me know and I'll send them to you.
Tim Wallace

North Carolina State University announces the 1997 Summer Ethnographic
Field School in Costa Rica in the Anthropology of Sustainable Tourism

May 13 - June 21, 1997

Costa Rica is a small Central American country that has chosen tourism as
a principal vehicle for economic development. It has played the
ecological tourism card very well and today is benefitting from large
numbers of tourist arrivals, but there are consequences: water quality
problems, coastal wetlands destruction, pollution, new hotels at the
expense of scenic vistas, loss of control over tourism development, and
changes in community values.

The Research
In this second summer of research we will continue to investigate
the impacts of tourism development in western Costa Rica on the towns and
beaches near Quepos and the Manuel Antonio National Park along the South
Central Pacific Ocean beaches. The principal goal of this year's
fieldwork is to learn whether long term sustainable tourism in this area
is truly feasible and whether Costa Rican hosts are finding new economic
activities to improve their quality of life. Using anthropology of
tourism theory we will also research the value of Costa Rican tourism for
tourists who visit Costa Rica, what they do while there and the degree to
which they enjoy, respect and learn about Costa Rica's culture, society
and native ecology.

The Site of Study
Prior to arrival in Quepos, we will spend about ten days making
excursions to other sites in Costa Rica, including Cahuita National Park
on the Caribbean side, tropical forests at Braulio Carrillo National Park
and Monteverde, Lake Arenal and the Central Valley cities of San Jose and
Heredia. These visits help us become familiar with the other parts of
the country and the tourism infrastructure.
The following four weeks will be spent living and studying in the
Manuel Antonio/Quepos region (pop. 16,000) on the south Pacific coast of
Costa Rica. While learning how to do applied ethnographic fieldwork and
carry out their research projects, students live with Costa Rican families
during their stay. Participants also learn skills associated with
organizing and carrying out applied anthropology, use of computers for
note-taking and analysis, and report writing. English is the language of
instruction, and English speaking assistants are available from time to
time to facilitate interviewing and communication.

Course Credit
Students enroll for six credits involving coursework in ethnographic
field methods and in the Anthropology of Tourism. Graduate credit is
available also. The coursework involves the application of anthropological
perspectives on tourism within a practical, training experience in
ethnographic fieldwork and professional ethics. Applied research methods
such as rapid appraisal techniques will also be demonstrated. Students
will learn about: research design, systematic observation, interviewing,
note-taking, computer software programs for use in ethnographic research,
data analysis and report writing. In addition participants study the role
of culture as it affects interactions between hosts and guests. Through
fieldwork they will understand the problems underlying the achievement of
sustainable tourism without sacrificing local cultural traditions.
Students are strongly advised to bring a laptop word processor to the
field. Assistance with locating a laptop computer will be provided, if

For Whom Intended
The program is designed for 10-12 students who may be juniors,
seniors and/or graduate students from various fields. Prerequisites are
two courses in anthropology, one of which must be in Cultural
Anthropology. First and Second Year students may be admitted with
permission of the instructor. No previous experience in ethnographic
fieldwork required. Priority will be given to students who have had at
least two semesters of Spanish.

U.S. and Canadian citizens only need a valid passport to enter Costa
Rica. No other documents are required.

Housing and Meals
In Quepos students stay in Costa Rican family homes, receiving room
and board there. Students also receive a small per diem for research
expenses (meals, local transportation, school supplies, etc.)

Field excursions to the Cahuita National Park on the Atlantic Coast,
other towns (Jaco , Parrita, Dominical) on the South Pacific Coast,
volcanoes (Poas or Arenal) and cloud rain forests (Braulio Carrillo and
Monteverde) will be made during the program.

Dr. James M. Tim Wallace, Director, Associate Professor of
Anthropology at North Carolina State University is the Program Director
and Instructor for the field school. Eileen Mueller, Dept. of
Anthropology, University of Northern Illinois is the assistant director.
Support is also provided by the NCSU Study Abroad Office and through an
association with the Universidad Nacional in Heredia, Costa Rica

The cost of the six week program is $1,990, including room and board,
in-country excursions, local transportation costs, program fees,
instruction, tuition for six credits in anthropology, International
Student ID, health insurance and some research supplies. Fees do not
include airfare, but airfare from Raleigh to San Jose is currently as low
as $460. Assistance in obtaining inexpensive airfares is provided.

For an application and further information contact Tim Wallace at
919-781-8655 (h) or 919- 515-2491 (o). E-mail: tim_wallace@ncsu.edu.
When requesting an application, send a letter (or E-mail message)
introducing yourself and your background. Include your full name, local
address, permanent mailing address, local telephone, home telephone, your
major, year of graduation and degree. A formal application form and
instructions will follow upon receipt of your letter.
Mail the letter to: Tim Wallace, NCSU Summer Ethnographic Field
School in Costa Rica, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Box 8107,
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8107.
Applications and information may also be obtained through the NCSU
Study Abroad Office, Box 7344, NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695-7344, (919)

Registration Fee
Deadline for receipt of a $100 registration fee, applicable to the
total program cost, is March 31, 1997. Applications will be evaluated
at the time and in the order in which they are received. Notice of
acceptance will be made within three weeks of receipt of the application