The SFS Model
Our faculty are full-time. They are skilled teachers, field researchers, and mentors, and are experts in many different fields including ecology, policy, resource management, and socioeconomics. Whether teaching in the classroom, in the field, or at the dinner table, faculty members ensure that our students return from studying abroad with an interdisciplinary toolbox of skills, an understanding of their application, and a passion for the environment.Meet Our Faculty
We are active members of the communities around our Centers and we nurture long-term, collaborative relationships. At the end of each semester, our Centers host Community Nights—research symposiums where students present their findings to local stakeholders. Through community-minded research development, students both contribute to a growing body of knowledge about local critical environmental issues and also become part active members of the community.
Our alumni frequently present their findings at professional meetings and build on their research for senior theses. Some publish articles in peer-reviewed academic journals in collaboration with SFS faculty advisors. All become members of our network of more than 17,000 alumni who share a passion for the environment in careers that span the private sector, government, academia, and leading NGOs in the fields of conservation and the environment.Meet our Alumni
Our programs are hands-on learning reimagined. Students step out of the classroom and actively engage in the ecosystems they study. Beyond reading an article about critical issues facing African elephants, our students observe them from meters away while collecting data on their resilience to climate change. Rather than lecturing about the impacts of coffee farming, we visit Monteverde’s cloud forests to learn from farmers how agriculture can support biodiversity. SFS students engage in real research about critical, local issues.Read about our Research Philosophy
With eight Centers around the world, our research covers a spectrum of environmental issues. SFS programs provide the foundation for students to critically examine environmental issues in an international setting. The academics and research at each Center are designed around that Center’s particular theme—such as marine resource management in the Turks & Caicos Islands—and each Center explores a variety of issues and perspectives within that theme.Learn more about environmental issues
SFS recognizes the growth of ideology over evidence in public discussions of environmental issues and we are committed to preparing the next generation of globally aware and science-literate citizens capable of tackling this immense challenge. Of critical importance, our students learn to clearly communicate research findings not only to fellow scientists, but to a diverse audience, with varying levels of experience and familiarity with environmental research.View a list of SFS peer-reviewed publications.
SFS students, faculty and staff live and work together in our eight fully outfitted Centers around the world. Ranging from deep in the heart of the Australian rainforest to the breezy, tropical coastline of Panama, each Center has its own distinct flavor and research focus. Regardless of where you go, you’ll discover a community and lifestyle unlike anything you’ve experienced before.Explore our Centers
When we send a group of students out into the field to conduct research in remote locations, their safety is our top priority. The SFS Safety Team is dedicated to providing comprehensive safety and risk management plans in all aspects of our programs, working around the clock to minimize hazards without sacrificing the rugged and awe-inspiring nature of the SFS study abroad experience.Learn more about Health and Safety on an SFS program