Previous practica developed by TCD students


The supervisor of the The TCD practicum is Dr. Rick Stepp (TCD/Antrhopology). The student will also need to have a faculty supervisor of the project to co-supervise the practicum.


Provide TCD students with supervised practical experience to build their skills and confidence in applied, professional work in tropical conservation and development. The practicum will be a service oriented activity beyond the normal research and teaching activities required by the student’s department. The practicum must be related to the field of conservation and/or development and should add a dimension to the student’s training that is unavailable through other UF coursework.


The practicum should include at least 75 hours of work directed to a supervised service project that engages others, on or off-campus (especially in the field), in some novel, practical activity related to conservation and development. Projects can also be carried out as a group with one or more faculty supervisors; projects that last for a period longer than one semester are permitted.


Organization of a workshop, conference symposium, learning community; a field course; extension programs to return research results to communities, governments, and other stakeholders; internships; supervision and advising of an undergraduate researcher; outreach in public schools; media and communications projects; convening stakeholders for a decision-making or advocacy initiative; production of a policy brief or a training manual, among other.

How it works

The course will function like an independent study, designed by each individual student. Each student will submit a proposal which must be approved in advance by the TCD practicum coordinator (deadlines are late August for the Fall semester AND early January for spring semester), and directly supervised by a faculty member, either the student’s academic advisor or a TCD affiliate faculty member. The student, faculty supervisor, and practicum coordinator will meet at least once to discuss the expectations, format, timetable, and monitoring of the practicum.

Registration materials

  • Name, Department, Major Advisor, Thesis topic
  • Practicum activity and Product including detailed description and timetable of proposed activities for the practicum, and estimated hours of effort
  • Number and characteristics of collaborating participants or audience
  • Letter of support from a faculty member supervising the practicum and, if relevant, from the collaborating institution
  • Benchmarks for progress reports and reporting plan


After the practicum is completed, students are required to submit an 8–10 page report discussing the practicum and the lessons learned, and to share their experiences with the TCD community in appropriate venues. Any required IRB approvals must be secured by the student. The faculty supervisor will provide a grade for the practicum in consultation with the TCD practicum coordinator.


Students may also apply to the TCD Practitioner Experience program to compete for funding to help support their proposed practicum.