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International field experiences offer exceptional opportunities for effective student learning in the geosciences. Over the 10 yr period between 1998 and 2008, more than 40 undergraduate students from 14 institutions participated in field research investigating active tectonics on the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. Three different project models were used: (1) a month-long summer research project, (2) a series of 1 to 2 wk independent field study projects, and (3) a week-long field research module. These projects shared a common research theme (active tectonics), field area (Nicoya Peninsula), and pedagogy (experiential learning), thus allowing for easy comparison of teaching methods, logistics,...

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