Posted: November 28, 2016
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A Semester in the Rainforest


It’s crazy to think how quickly three months has flown by. As we reflect on the semester, I think we can all go home feeling proud of ourselves on how much we have accomplished. From the all-nighters spent writing papers, through the leeches and the scrub itch, to the countless laughs we share every night at dinner time, it has been, pardon my French, one hell of a semester.

Zillie Falls in Millaa Millaa

Beautiful rainbow in Yungaburra that had everyone in awe

Alyssa and Jess on Halloween: Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World

Awe-inspiring adventures around Queensland left us speechless. SFS has allowed us to explore and learn about areas that we otherwise wouldn’t have even known existed…

Noah after visiting the caves in Chillagoe (the Outback)

Lookout on top of the Gillies Highway

Top of the summit of Fitzroy Island, Great Barrier Reef

Daintree National Park

Sunset at Balancing Rock in Chillagoe

And we certainly can’t forget about all the amazing animals we’ve seen.

Nelson, the adorable baby Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo at a Wildlife Caretaker’s house

Baby green ringtail possum

Green tree frog in Daintree National Park

Myself and a very happy rock wallaby at Granite Gorge Nature Park in Mareeba

A subtly gorgeous butterfly

Monitor lizard!

A cool stick insect that only lives on this species of plant

But now…It’s Directed Research (DR) time. As we reach the end of the semester, it has been crunch time for everyone to finish their research papers, presentations, and posters. My DR project is on the Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo and its ability to live in forests of varying soil types. Our DR group calls ourselves “The Lumpies” because we’re always looking for “lumps” (tree-kangaroos) in the trees. It’s very rewarding to help contribute to the knowledge of an important yet cryptic species of the Wet Tropics. But I sure do miss data collection…

Lumholtz Tree-Kangaroo spotted in a tree in Peterson Creek Wildlife Corridor

The Lumpies! (Jess, Simon, Matt, Marley, Sylvie)

After a long week of writing, we’re looking forward to wrapping up the projects. After December 1st, the program ends and I will be travelling to Sydney and exploring the area for a week with friends, then heading to New Zealand after that. Once we’re all home, we are definitely going to miss this beautiful place!
Thank you so much to all the awesome faculty (Siggy, Justus, Catherine) and staff (Greg, Hannah, Amanda, Marianne, Bill, John) and everyone else who has made this study abroad experience one of a kind. We will miss you!!

→ Tropical Rainforest Studies in Australia

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