Note: This site is updated in mid December of each year to reflect field courses information for the following year.
The University of Waterloo is a member of the Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology. As a member, the University of Waterloo offers Field Biology courses (modules) that are available to Waterloo students, as well as students from other universities that participate in the program. Waterloo students may enroll in courses offered by Waterloo, as well as field courses offered by any university that participates in the program. The field courses are intensive one or two week courses that typically take place away from university campuses. For example in 2013, Waterloo offers courses on Rain Forests and Reefs (Costa Rica), Links between Land and Reef (Andros Island, Bahamas), and Marine Mammals and Sea Birds (Huntsman Field Station, New Brunswick). The courses involve hands on field instruction, and students are typically required to complete a small field project, usually on a topic that they have chosen in consultation with the course professor(s). Class sizes are typically small and enrollment in each course is limited, which provides students with the opportunity for much more interaction with the course professors than regular courses provide. Currently, 14 universities participate in the program and in 2013, there are 30 different field courses available to choose from.
On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, there will be a Field Course Information Session from 6:00–6:30 p.m. in B2 350. During this session, you will be provided with information about the field biology program, courses offered, as well as application procedures and deadlines.
Yes. If you take a one week field course, you will receive 0.25 Biology credits, and if you take a two week field course, you will receive 0.5 Biology credits.
No. You will receive a BIOL 490A, BIOL 490B, BIOL 491A, BIOL 491B, BIOL 498A, or BIOL 498B credit.
This will depend on the course that you take. There are different costs associated with different courses. Courses that require air travel are typically more expensive. Regardless of which course you take, a $250.00 deposit is required with your application.
You must be enrolled as a student at the University of Waterloo. Additional requirements (such as SCUBA certification) will depend on the course in question. Note that some courses take place in different countries, and require that you possess a valid passport. If you enroll in a course that takes place in a different country, be sure that you obtain/possess a passport that is valid for no less than six months after the course ends.
This really depends on your personal interests. In 2013, there are 30 different courses offered that you can choose from. Each course runs at a specific time in a specific location, and there is a different cost associated with each course offered. To view the courses offered this year, visit the Ontario Universities Program in Biology Website This website is updated in mid-to-late December of each year to reflect the courses that will be held the following year.
8. How do I apply to take a field course?
You must first decide which field courses you are interested in, and you must then complete an application form and return it to Jonathan Witt (B2 252) or Sue Whyte (ESC 351C) no later than Monday, January 21, 2013. A deposit of $250.00, payable to the University of Waterloo must accompany your completed application. Application forms are available on the Ontario Universities Program in Biology Website. View the 2013 application (PDF).
You should contact the instructor for the course in question.
You must indicate which semester you would like your course to appear on Quest when you fill out your application. This is very important, and will be discussed at the information session.
The date that the balance of your payment is due depends on the field course in which you are enrolled. The course descriptions indicate when the balance of your fee must be received, and to whom it must be sent to (usually the field course coordinator at the university which is offering the course that you are taking). It is critical that you pay the balance by the required date, or you could be removed from the course and your place might be given to someone else. View a list of field course coordinators for all participating universities (PDF). It is important to note that the fee for your field course is tax deductible in the same way that tuition fees can be deducted. Your field course instructor will normally provide you with a receipt for the balance of your payment at the time of the course, and a receipt for your $250.00 deposit can be picked up from Sue Whyte in ESC 351C.
Possibly. Since a spot in a field course was reserved for you, you will only get your $250.00 refunded if another student is found to take your place. If you discover that you cannot take a field course very close to the time that the course is offered, and you have already paid both the deposit and the remaining balance of the course fee, it may not be possible to refund either. This will especially be the case if accommodations, food, and airfares have already been purchased for you. As a result, you should not sign up for a field course thoughtlessly and frivolously, and you should strongly consider purchasing cancellation insurance if the course you have selected involves air travel.