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Belize Primatology

The Primatology program at the University of Calgary is widely recognized as the best in Canada and among the best in North America. Students have the exceptional opportunity to research primate behaviour in Belize, a country known for its verdant jungles, diverse ecosystems, ancient ruins, white sand beaches and the warm Caribbean Sea.

In the Belizean forest and under the direction of Professor Hugh Notman, you will learn the fundamentals of wild primate research design and data collection through first-hand observation of Howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra). Students will be trained in all aspects of conducting fieldwork on wild primates, and specifically the sampling techniques required to collect behavioural and ecological data necessary to primate research. This intensive training will equip you with the ability to carefully plan a relevant and detailed research project proposal that will be submitted at the end of the session in Belize. This field experience will also foster the development of other skills necessary to successful fieldwork, including teamwork, individual problem solving, the ability to be flexible in the face of changing circumstances and altered logistical arrangements, field safety, and generally coping with working in another country.

Students will be based out of Monkey River village, a small, traditional Creole village at the mouth of Monkey River, where you will be immersed in a unique cultural experience. Trips to Placencia, the barrier reef and the Tropical Education Centre and Zoo in central Belize will round off your field school experience!

International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Program typeGroup Study
Application statusClosed
Application deadline

Recruitment complete.

Student Experience

 I came back to Canada with priceless experience, knowledge, 4 half-courses finished, and most importantly for me, a dramatic increase in my self-confidence and abilities.
Kaytlynn, Year 4 ANTH & PSYC