Center for Rainforest Studies

Rainforest to Reef

Australia
Semester
14 Weeks
16 Credits
Fall 2024
Sep 4 - Dec 8
Closed
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 2
Filling Fast
Program Costs
  • Tuition$22,750
  • Room & Board$5,750
  • Total$28,500
Application Deadlines
Fall 2024
May 1, 2024
Spring 2025
November 1, 2024
Semester Program

Rainforest to Reef

Tropical North Queensland,
Australia

Immerse yourself in the rich biodiversity of the rainforest and learn about ecological resilience in the face of environmental threats like climate change. Explore the multitude of environments that exist in Northern Queensland and the complex relationships between them – rainforests to dry forests, savannahs to wetlands, and mangroves to coral reefs.

Join large-scale restoration ecology experiments and study sustainable food systems while developing skills in field research and data collection. In the final weeks of the semester, you’ll spend your time out in the field conducting an extensive research project.

  • Live, work, and study at our most remote Center – a 153-acre rainforest property surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage Forests.
  • Journey to the ancient forests at Daintree National Park, a biodiversity hotspot and, at over 110 million years old, possibly the oldest rainforest in the world.
  • Connect with a representative of the area’s Aboriginal Mob for conversation around agriculture, land rights, and First Nations people’s connection with their land.
  • Explore the biodiversity and diverse ecosystems on the Atherton Tablelands and engage with locals through community service.
  • Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef while learning about its ecology and socio-environmental challenges.
  • Conduct a comprehensive field research project: Develop a research question, collect and analyze data, write a paper, and present your findings.

Academics

This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Australia.

Major academic themes include:

  • Rainforest ecology and conservation
  • Climate change
  • Habitat restoration ecology
  • Threatened species conservation
  • Aboriginal ecotourism
  • Development and settlement in the rainforest
  • Rainforest fragmentation and recovery
  • Forest ecotones
  • Animal behavior

Courses

On the Tropical Rainforest Studies program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.

Click on the
to view a description and download the syllabus.
SFS 4910
Directed Research – Australia
4 credits
SFS 3691
Tropical Biome Ecology & Climate Change
4 credits
SFS 3701
Wildlife & Conservation Biology
4 credits
SFS 3021
Environmental Sustainability and Socio-economic Values
4 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: GIS use and applications, species identification and population monitoring, forest survey methods, citizen science protocols, research design and implementation, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and research presentation. 

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include primary and secondary tropical rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef, tropical savanna, wet sclerophyll forests, coastal scrub and mangrove, Melaleuca (paperbark) swamps, Indigenous communities, and local conservation and restoration groups. 


Other Australia Programs

Semester

Rainforest to Reef

14 Weeks
16 Credits
Fall 2024
Sep 4 - Dec 8
Closed
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 2
Filling Fast

More Information

Program Costs
  • Tuition$22,750
  • Room & Board$5,750
  • Total$28,500
Summer Session 1

Marsupials of Australia

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2025
Jun 2 - Jul 1
Open

More Information

Program Costs
  • Tuition$5,670
  • Room & Board$2,580
  • Total$8,250
Summer Session 2

Farming for the Future – Australia & Bali

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jul 8 - Aug 6
In the Field
Summer 2025
Jul 7 - Aug 5
Open

More Information

Program Costs
  • Tuition$5,670
  • Room & Board$2,580
  • Total$8,250

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