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  • College of Arts & Sciences

    • Science Division
    • Kirkbride Hall, Room 323
    • tel: 610-499-4003
    • fax: 610-499-4496
  • Dr. Stephen R. Madigosky

    • Chair, Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability
    • Kirkbride Hall, Room 206
    • tel: 610-499-4269

Study Abroad, Environmental Science and Sustainability

Environmental science students at Widener have the opportunity to travel abroad to study a variety of unusual habitats. 

Our affiliation with conservation organizations and conservatories in Costa Rica and Peru and with Zamorano University in Honduras provide our students with unique opportunities to conduct original research in some of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth.

These experiences offer students the opportunity to interact with people from other cultures on truly unique service projects. Students work alongside scientists, teachers, and people from rural walks of life in efforts that are directed toward solving grass-root environmental problems.   

Costa Rica

In recent years, students have visited the Las Lajas coffee farm in Alajeula, Costa Rica to conduct research. Here students conduct research that compares the physical aspects of the Las Lajas farm that produces organic, shade-grown coffee to other neighboring farms that produce sun-grown coffee. 

Students are engaged in all aspects of this business, including helping farmers harvest their crop along with helping strategically plan for next year’s crop. Students learn the importance of how their consumer decisions impact the environment in other parts of the world. 

The farm that produces the environmentally friendly coffee is the source of the beans for WU Brew, Widener's own brand of coffee. 


In Peru, students travel 100 miles by boat down the Amazon River to the Amazon Conservatory of Tropical Studies to conduct research. A variety of research opportunities are available at this site for students interested in tropical environments and ecology, along with opportunities to use the longest canopy walkway system in the world to conduct research. We also visit an island reserve that nurtures orphan monkeys and other rare and endangered animals.


Students travel with Widener faculty to the Escuela Agrícola Panamericana "El Zamorano" in Honduras where we engage with Zamorano students and faculty to learn about tropical biodiversity and ecology, rural sustainable development, and Latin American culture. We also visit Zamorano’s tilapia farm, orchidarium, entomology and botany laboratories, and a unique cloud forest preserve at Uyuca.