So you want to be in Evolution and Ecology Across Latitudes…

Before submitting an application, please look through these FAQs, and if you have more questions, come to Academic Fair on March 4th or May 13th ( 4 – 6 pm in the CRC).


Q: How much upper-division science credit will be possible through this program?

A: Up to 32 upper-division science credits will be available to students who stay in the program the entire year. In Fall quarter, 12 upper-division credits will be awarded for upper-division work.  It will not be possible to earn 48 upper-division science credits through this program for two reasons: First, the statistics that we will be learning is not at an upper-division level; second, students pursuing a B.S. should get at least some of their upper-division science credits from another program.


Q: I am interested in Fall quarter of the program, but won’t be able to, or don’t want to, go to Ecuador in Winter. Can I still apply for Fall only?

A: Yes. Our enrollment in Fall will be 50, dropping to around 30 in Winter and Spring, so having students who only intend to be in the the program in Fall is desirable, and will increase the chances that other enrolled students can go to Ecuador.


Q: I’m hoping to get technical skills that I can put on my resume—things like analyzing leaf litter samples, using an SEM, or how to run a PCR. Is this program a good choice for me?

A: Probably not. In this program, the focus will be on all aspects of the scientific process—from generating all of the plausible hypotheses that could explain an observed pattern, researching the theory that underlies the process, designing experimental or observational protocols that best discriminate between the hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, interpreting what it means, and presenting it to an audience of your peers. That process—the research cycle that emphasizes creative idea generation and reliance on meshing empirical observation with theory—is science. The data that the process generates is only one small part of the scientific process. Furthermore, we will emphasize on-the-ground problem solving skills, especially for the tropical portion of the program: one goal is to rely only on equipment that you, the researcher, can fix when it breaks. Our equipment will therefore tend to be low-tech, which will allow the rigor and logic of our scientific ideas to be exposed more clearly.


Q: Why is “college-level writing” a prerequisite for this program?

A: Being able to write well is a necessary skill for all informed citizens, including scientists. The better your basic writing and math skills are coming in to the program, the greater our advances as a learning community can be in scientific investigations and critical thinking.


Q: I will be transfering to Evergreen, so don’t have an evaluation from a previous program to include with my application. What should I do?

A: Have a former professor write you a letter of recommendation. The letter should, if possible, speak to your intellectual breadth, science background, and level of dedication to your academic work.


Q: I was in one of your programs previously. Do I need to give you an evaluation from a faculty member?

A: No, if you’ve been either Heather’s or Bret’s student in the past, then we already have an evaluation of you, so just fill out the application. You also don’t need to supply the name of a different faculty who will recommend you, unless you think that you showed better academic potential with another faculty.


Q: I’m really interested, but can’t take the program in 2015-2016. Are you going to offer it again anytime soon?

A: There is likely to be a similar program in the 2018-2019 academic year. It isn’t entirely up to us, but this is our plan.



Q: I have looked through the catalog and can’t find anything I’m really excited about. Should I apply to EEAL?

A: No.