Course Description

Course Name

Biotechnology and Sustainability

Session: VSJW1122

Hours & Credits

60 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.



This course emphasizes the vast possibilities offered by biotechnology for sustainable development through the study of specific cases in Costa Rica. In this sense, Costa Rica, despite its comparatively small geographical size and population, has consolidated as the most advanced country in the region when it comes to biotechnological research. This course will explore the reasons why, and correlate them with the role of sustainable development in this process. Fundamental and applied concepts of biotechnology will be explored and discussed in terms of life, environmental and social sciences. This course will be heavily based on the study of cases in which biotechnology has become into the best solution for social and environmental situations through the visits and participation of companies, associations and experts related to this technology. Therefore, this course is aimed to any professional with an interest in biotechnology from an engineering, scientific and social sciences point of view.

This is a course of Environmental Sciences (theoretical and practical) and answers the following question:
How has biotechnology been applied to sustainable development in Costa Rica?
To answer this question the following aspects will be studied:
- Fundamental concepts of Biotechnology
- The story of biotechnology
- Biotechnology in Costa Rica
- Agricultural Biotechnology
- Medical Biotechnology
- Marine Biotechnology
- Biorremediation
- Biofuels
- Bioprocesses
- Bioprospecting
- Synthetic Biology and the future of Biotechnology

Along the course the following habilities and skills will be promoted:
- Analyze the historical perspectives of global biotechnology and the situation of Costa Rica.
- Recognition of different types of biotechnology and their characteristics.
- Understanding of the context, reasons and motivations in the search of biotechnological solutions.
- Recognition of the main tools used in biotechnology.
- Development of strategical thinking sensitive for sustainable development.

The following values and actitudes will be promoted in the students:
- Respect for the environment and human groups (farmers, aboriginal people).
- Logical and critical thinking.
- Innovation in a tropical setting.
- Goal-oriented thinking.
- Team work and leadership.
- Empathy and sensitivity.

*Course content subject to change