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St. Croix

January Term 2017: ANTH 370: Environment, Culture, Archaeology & Ecology & ANTH 498: Research, St. Croix, Virgin Islands

St. Croix Aerial View

Program Overview:

Experience the beauty of the U.S. Virgin Islands while exploring its rich history with CSUSM anthropologist Dr. Bonnie Bade and a team of local experts from the University of the Virgin Islands, National Park Service and others. 

During your time abroad, you will:

  • Learn about St. Croix's historical roots, from prehistory to colonialism to today
  • Work on an ecological anthropology, ethnomedicine, ethnobotanical, or archaeological project
  • Assist on local farms clearing land for the harvest season
  • Join local fishermen to understand the role of federal regulatins on local fishing practices and the impact of invasive species
  • Observe local chefs to learn St. Croix traditional recipes and put them to the test
  • Discover the unique ecology of the rainforest and island
  • Explore the Archaeology, Ethnohistory, and diverse communities of the island
  • Experience the unique culture of the Caribbean

Program Excursions: 

  • The Botanical Gardens
  • Tide Pools
  • Salt River Bay
  • The Historic Diamond Estate
  • Sailing & Snorkeling Tours
  • Many local museums & much more!

Dr. Bonnie Bade will be your program leader and primary instructor on Population and Environmental Anthropology/Directed Research.  To further enhance your learning, she will be joined by the following:

  • Lance Hayes, Marine and Freshwater Biologist, Sustainable fishing and invasive species lecture, Snorkel Lecture
  • Joshua Torres, PhD, Cultural Resource Program Manager, NPS St. Croix. Lecture topic: Prehistory of St. Croix
  • David Goldstein, PhD, Chief, Interpretation and Education, NPS St. Croix. Lecture topic: Ecology, ethnogenesis, and culture history of St. Croix.
  • Michael Evans, Refuge Manager, Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, United State Fish and Wildlife Service (USWFS). Lecture topic: Ecology of St. Croix and the US Virgin Islands.
  • George Tyson, PhD, Virgin Islands Social History Association (VISHA). Lecture topic: Social history of St. Croix.
  • Elizabeth Rezende, PhD, professor, University of the Virgin Islands. Lecture topic: Colonialism on St. Croix: Its History and Legacy.
  • David Hayes, MA, Registered Professional Archaeologist. The Archaeology of St. Croix
  • Victoria Gordon, Local ethnobotany and medicinal plant usage of St. Croix.
  • Shannon O’Neill, Night Adaptations and Bioluminescence Lecture, Buck Island Underwater National Park
  • Carmen Corradino, Rainforest Ecology Lecture and Danish Ruins Hike
  • Matt Corradino, Taino Lithic Lecture and Stone Tool Workshop

Academic Calendar:

January 3-16 (fly out January 2 to arrive by afternoon of January 3, depart January 16)

Academic Focus & Units:

  • ANTH 370 Environment, Population and Culture/DD credit for students with 60 units or more (3 units)
  • ANTH 498 Directed Research (3 units)

Language of Instruction:


Bungalow View Requirements:

  • Class level:  Students with upper-division standing by the end of Fall 2016
  • GPA:  2.75 and above; good academic standing
  • Mature students open to experience island life and living in basic ecolodge setting


Students will be placed in shared, basic bungalows in the Mount Victory Ecolodge, nestled in the heart of the rainforest.  Each bungalow can accommodate 4-6 students and offers a small kitchen with sink, filtered drinking water, fans, electrical outlets and a fully screened window offering a stunning view of the rainforest.  Bathrooms will be shared among lodge residents.

As an eco-conscious lodge, careful attention is given to minimally impacting the environment.  From solar powered showers to locally grown fruits and vegetables, the goal is to appreciate and value the beautiful nature surrounding you.  The lodge owners are instructors who will enjoy bringing their knowledge of primitive skills and ecology to life.

Estimated Cost:

Program fees: $2,600 due to Global Education + Extended Learning Fees estimated at $492 for six units, billed directly to your student account

All fees include tuition, room and partial board (2 meals/day), medical insurance, ground transportation to/from airport, and excursions.  Airfare and personal expenditures are NOT included in the program cost.  Suggested airfare is $750-$850 round trip, estimated food $100, and estimated personal spending $150.

Some useful airfare search engines:

Please be sure to read the fine print concerning change fees, taxes, luggage restrictions, etc. before booking.  Whenever possible, book directly with an airline.

To Apply:

  1. Attend an information session led by Program Leader, Bonnie Bade.
  2. Print out the application materials below.  All application materials must be received by Thursday, November 3rd along with your non-refundable $300 deposit to the Office of Global Education.  Online payment preferred through CashNet: Please be advised that all payments aside from those on debit cards will accrue a 2.75% convenience fee.  Cash, checks, and money orders made payable to CSUSM will also be accepted.
  3. Final payment is due on Thursday, December 1st to the Office of Global Education.  Payment of tuition related expenses will be due directly through Extended Learning and follow the payment guidelines set out for Winter Intercession.  Remaining program fees due to Global Education follow the procedure outlined above.
  4. A mandatory pre-departure orientation will be held with Professor Bade to discuss arrival instructions and the upcoming course(s).  Some course sessions may take place prior to leaving, beginning in December.  More details will follow. 

January Term in St. Croix Application:

Attend one or the following info sessions in SBSB 1105 for more details:

  • Thursday, September 15, 12:00-12:50
  • Thursday, October 6, 12:00-12:50
  • Thursday, October 13, 12:00-12:50
  • Thursday, October 20, 12:00-12:50
  • Thursday, November 3, 12:00-12:50
  • Thursday, November 10, 12:00-12:50