Earth Expeditions

Baja: Field Methods

Experience the spectacular desert and marine landscapes of two richly diverse biosphere reserves through ecological and social field methods.

Course Details
Planned dates in
Baja California,
Baja I: July 6-14, 2022
Baja II: July 16-24, 2022
Baja III: July 26 – August 3, 2022

Baja courses are open to first year GFP master’s students, any interested current students, or can be taken as a stand-alone course.

Plan to arrive at least one day before course begins and depart the day after course ends.
On the Web: May – December
Credits: 7 graduate credits from Miami University; course can be applied to the Global Field Program.
Course Cost:* 2022 Field course (in-country + web): $3,225 (price includes tuition for 5 graduate credits and in-country costs) + airfare (if needed) to San Diego. Ground transportation to San Diego may also be possible.

2022 Fall project course (web, required): $790 (price includes tuition for 2 graduate credits)

Course Overview

Discover the rich marine, island, and mainland ecosystems of Baja. Students in this course stay and study in Bahía de los Ángeles, a UNESCO World Heritage site and biosphere reserve located on the Gulf of California.  The dramatic land and seascape of Bahía de los Ángeles includes a remarkable range of marine and desert habitats well suited to a broad range of studies. Students will stay at the Vermilion Sea Field Station, a historic center for marine studies, and at Rancho San Gregorio, a family-owned ranch in the heart of the Vizcaino desert, home to some of the most unique desert plant species on Earth, including the world’s largest cacti (Pachycereus pringlei), elephant trees (Bursera microphylla), and boojums (Fouquieria columnaris).

A key premise of this course is that field methods are not only essential for ecological research, they can serve as the basis for participatory education and for public engagement in science and environmental stewardship. A wide range of diverse investigators — from teachers leading schoolyard ecology to parataxonomists involved in ethnobotanical research — all share a need for reliable information obtained through robust methods to build understanding and to promote informed action. Ecological field techniques — such as point sampling, quadrat studies, and line transects — are fundamental tools that allow investigators of all backgrounds to generate knowledge needed to become better informed environmental citizens. Students in this course will become familiar with a range of sampling methods and contribute to ongoing projects.

Prior to and following the field experience in Baja, students will complete coursework via Dragonfly Workshops’ Web-Based Learning Community as they apply experiences to their home institutions.

Course Options for Miami Students

Are you a current Miami University undergrad or grad student interested in participating? Check out our Miami Students page to learn more about program requirements.

*Note that costs shown above are for graduate students only. Course costs for undergraduate students are based on each student’s tuition rate. If you have questions regarding your tuition promise rate, please contact the Bursar.