My experience with SFS thus far has been nothing short of enchanting. I have learned many new things about myself living in this rainforest, sharing beautiful experiences with the other students in the program, and being exposed to a part of the world I have dreamed of exploring the past five years of my life.

As an environmental studies and communication major at Santa Clara University, I applied to SFS because I knew I would be given the opportunity to learn more about this unique environment through actually working in the field. I have combined my two passions, reporting and studying the environment, to film and document my trip. I have plans to compile the footage I am capturing to make an informational documentary about the Australian Wet Tropics for my friends, family, and anyone on the Internet who is interested in this topic.  I want to share with the world there is rainforest in Australia that needs to be protected for its aesthetic value, research capabilities, and for its biodiversity.

I have only been here for a week and I have already captured amazing footage of animals in their natural environment. Our team went spotlighting one night and I was able to get footage of invertebrates, insects, pademelons, and bandicoots. Exposing these animals at night in the pitch-black rainforest was an empowering experience.

On Sunday our group headed to the Granite Gorge and we were given the opportunity to check out the area on our own time after we took our swim test in the invigorating spring fed river. It was such a nice way to spend our Sunday. The view at the gorge was breath taking. We went climbed on huge granite boulders and fed the wallabies that lived in the gorge. We even saw a baby wallaby in its mother’s pouch. Interacting with marsupials, very different than those in the Americas, was awesome! SFS has given me the opportunity gain knowledge and experience in an amazing environment with truly passionate professors and an interesting, diverse group of students from across the United States.