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Programs : Brochure

This is the program brochure page.
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description


Senko with Turtle

whale shark RED

Sea Lions

This course will use Baja California, Mexico as a model to study emerging topics in marine conservation by examining the relationships between small-scale fisheries, coastal communities, marine megafauna (sea turtles, sharks, and marine mammals), and community-based conservation. We will focus on the integration of science, practice, socioeconomics, and culture in the context of fisheries and coastal conservation. Topics will include the ecological and social sustainability of fisheries, marine megafauna ecology and conservation, ecotourism, community and market-based conservation, and emerging conservation innovation.

Quick Facts

  • Field work in Baja California Sur, Mexico during spring break: March 7-13, 2020.

  • Participate in a sea turtle monitoring and research project recognized around the world as a model for community-based conservation.

  • Snorkel with whale sharks while learning about their ecology and recent efforts that have brought together government, private sector, NGO, and academic actors to effectively manage whale shark observation in La Paz Bay, a project that has become a global model for whale shark ecotourism.
  • Visit one of the original fishing communities in La Paz to learn how the local community and a conservation group developed a community-based aquaculture cooperative and fisheries restoration initiative.
  • Snorkel with sea lions off the coast of Espíritu Santo Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and natural protected area, while learning about the flora, fauna, and geology that make this island unique, and how it became a natural protected area.
  • Learn about different fishing gear and sustainable fishing practices with local fisher leaders, while having the opportunity to try your hand at fishing in La Paz Bay. 

Application Requirements

To apply for this program, click the "Apply Now" button above. This will generate an online application with the requirements listed below. Please also refer to the "Academics" tab for specific eligibility information. Note: Non-ASU students should consult these instructions before applying.


bottlenose pod

La Paz Cathedral

Location Details

Situated along the Gulf of California, La Paz is world renowned for its diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and wildlife watching. The city is known for its seafront “Malecón” with beaches, parks, and art by Mexican and international artists. Many restaurants and shops overlook the water.


Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Payment and Withdrawal Policies

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.


Eligibility Requirements

  • Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can apply
  • Interview with Faculty Director Jesse Senko


Students will take the below whilst abroad for a total of 3 credits

  • FIS 494: Sea Turtles, Sharks, and Fisheries of Baja California  - Emerging Topics in Marine Conservation

Students will register for this course during the Spring registration period. Please note that this course is offered for ground students only. 

*Please note that this course counts towards your Spring semester load. If registering for this course will put you in a course-overload situation, you will need to speak with your academic advisor for an override.  

Course Format 

The course will be taught with in-person meetings during the Session C Spring 2020 semester. The study abroad portion of the program will be embedded in the C session course during the week of Spring Break (March 7 - March 13). Meeting times and dates will be once a week, but TBD.


workshop 1



Faculty Directors

Jesse Senko
Assistant Research Professor
School for the Future of Innovation in Society  
Office: Interdisciplinary B, 353a
Office Hours: By appointment  

Ira Bennett
Clinical Associate Professor
School for the Future of Innovation in Society 
Office: Interdisciplinary B, 353d
Office Hours: By appointment  


Senko, Jesse


  Hotel Catedral


Program Housing

In La Paz, students will be staying at Hotel Catedral. The hotel is situated in the historic center of the city, surrounded by major attractions next to Our Lady Cathedral of La Paz, and a short five minute walk to the Bay of La Paz.

Special Considerations

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your study abroad experience. Early discussions and planning can help to support you in having a positive experience abroad. We invite you to meet with the International Coordinator for this program to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Physical Considerations

Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus. This program will include a great deal of walking. This program also includes several boat rides, in which participants will be required to embark and disembark from the boat on a number of occasions. 

Disability Accommodations Abroad

Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States. For example, in Mexico, most public buildings are inaccessible and inconsistent inspection results in construction of new facilities that are not accessible. Public transportation for persons with disabilities is very limited.  

In general, the Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program. Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact the Disability Resource Center and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.

LGBTQIA Students Abroad

Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad. For example, in Mexico, conservative cultural ideals influence societal norms, making LGBTQIA identity expression cause for possible discrimination.  In general, the LGBTQIA community is acknowledged and is generally tolerated.

We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.

Gender Identity Abroad

When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity. For example, in Mexico, some women travelers may experience harassment in the form of cat calling and other forms of objectification by local men. Students are encouraged to travel in groups and in mixed company whenever possible.

You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

Students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter unique challenges transitioning from life here in the United States to life as a student living abroad, including but not limited to access to personal care products and services.

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may experience by researching the ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations. We encourage students to start that research on our Racial and Ethnic Minority Students page.


Cost Information

The Program Fee for Spring Break 2020 is $2,285.

Program Fee includes: Double occupancy accommodation, round trip airport transfers, many meals during the program, site visits and cultural events, in-country transportation, ASU faculty support, and international health insurance. Not included: Tuition for the three-credit course, airfare, passport & visa fees, personal expenses, and miscellaneous items.  Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.

Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program cost sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  6. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities

  • ASU Tuition Waiver may be applied on this program to cover the tuition associated with this program.  The ASU Tuition Waiver cannot be used to subsidize the posted program fee.


Links to Additional Resources

*The ASU Study Abroad Office does not officially endorse, administer or monitor the content of these links.

Dates & Deadlines

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.