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  • Locations: Madre de Dios, Peru; Puerto Maldonado, Peru
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0
Language of Instruction: English Housing: Field Station, Hotel
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate
Type of Program: Faculty-led Area of Study: Biology, Conservation Biology, Environmental Science, Anthropology, Integrative Studies
Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Primate Behavior & Conservation

Peru, Summer 2018 - Deadline extended: Apply by May 11!

Primate Behavior
Live in the Peruvian rainforest studying Primate Behavior and Conservation! Primates are some of the most charismatic yet highly endangered vertebrate groups on the planet; nearly half of all primate species are threatened with extinction in the wild from the effects of habitat destruction, wildlife trade, and bushmeat hunting. In the course, students will learn about current conservation issues and solutions to mitigate decreasing primate populations in the wild, while conducting independent research on a primate species in the wild.

This immersive, two-week program is held at an active research station in the tropical rainforest and provides hands-on research experience. Students will learn essential techniques in field methodology in order to conduct research on primates. During the course, students will carry out behavioral and ecological research on primates and complete an independent research project.  In addition, students will network with local researchers and engage in local community efforts and collaboration in order to apply global conservation knowledge and skills more effectively.

Due to the nature of this program, space is limited. We recommend completing your application as early as possible.

Program Highlights

  • Live in the rainforest and experience field research firsthand
  • Work with primates in their natural habitat
  • Learn about conservation efforts in Peru

Student Experiences

  • Read a former student's blog
  • See photos and testimonies from alumni in program Facebook group


This program is open to all undergraduate and graduate students including students who do not attend George Mason University. Non-students are welcome to apply, with space provided in priority to registered students. 

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA: 2.25
  • Minimum graduate GPA: 3.0
  • Course prerequisite: CONS 480/580 Primate Behavior, Ecology and Conservation (3 credits). This course is offered by the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation in Front Royal, VA. Students must register for this course in Summer 2018 in order to participate in the program in Peru.

Special note: This program takes place in a remote field station which is only accessible by boat. Participants are expected to be in adequate physical condition to be able to hike, and conduct research within a tropical rainforest on a daily basis.


3 credits


Anticipated Course Options*

  • CONS 497: Special Topics in Conservation
* subject to change

Program Dates*

July 6 - July 24, 2018


Day 1 Program begins; students arrive in Puerto Maldonado.
Day 2 Depart Puerto Maldonado in private van for Laberinto port, travel by boat to field station. Students arrive at field station, lunch, orientation.
Day 3 Navigating a tropical environment, learning trail and map system. Lecture on primates in field studies and conservation applications.
Day 4 Data collection techniques. Data collection analysis overview. Lecture on New World Primates.
Day 5 Revise data collection techniques; Proposal due.
Day 6 Data collection in field. Lecture on Andean primate conservation.
Day 7 Free day.
Day 8 Data collection in field. Guest Lecture (TBA).
Day 9 Data collection in field. Lecture on major threats to primates in the wild.
Day 10 Data collection in field. Lecture on community-based conservation.
Day 11 Data collection in field. Activity & discussion on gold mining in Peru.
Day 12 Field trip to Conservation Concession (boat).
Day 13 Field trip to Conservation Concession (boat).
Day 14 Data collection in field.
Day 15 Analyze data collected; begin write-up final paper.
Day 16 Oral Presentation symposium.
Day 17 Last day at field station; optional hikes; pack.
Day 18 Depart field station; travel by boat to Laberinto; travel by van to Puerto Maldonado (hotel).
Day 19 End of Program; Depart Peru
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Summer 2018: $3,625

Included: Tuition for 3 credits, daily room and board at CICRA field station (all meals and lodging in dorm-style room), round-tip transportation to/from field station, hotel accommodations in Puerto Maldonado at the beginning and end of program, guest lectures by researchers conducting long-term research at the field station, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, required field equipment (binoculars, field notebooks, digital watch, rubber boots, headlamp. Full equipment list will be provided.), personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials.

*Participants must arrange their own airfare, once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by March 11, 2018 in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by April 8, 2018. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or their VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:


GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.

Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

Name Anneke Deluycker
Phone 540-635-0463 

GEO Program Officer

  Denise Elles-Mdahuar Photo
Name Denise Elles-Mdahuar
Phone 703-993-2155

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.