Tropical Rainforest Studies
January 29 - May 3
August 27 - November 29
The SFS Center for Rainforest Studies lies on the edge of the Atherton Tablelands in the heart of the traditional land of the Yidinji people, near the small town of Yungaburra. Protected World Heritage forests and farmland surround the Center. Student cabins are nestled within the rainforest, which comprises 97 percent of the property’s 153 acres.
From our base in the rainforest, SFS students and faculty collaborate with local stakeholders to research the loss and fragmentation of once-extensive rainforests of the region.
January 29 - May 3
August 27 - November 29
June 4 - July 4
July 9 - August 8
Australia Spring '08
My field experience in Australia is the source of my passion and enthusiasm for ecological research.
“Our work in Australia demonstrated firsthand how increased knowledge of the processes and functions governing ecological systems can directly impact the livelihoods of surrounding populations as well as the integrity of the ecosystem.” Justin’s path to Colorado State and Mali began at the 2009 Ecological Society of America meeting in Albuquerque, where he presented his SFS research on invasive lantana vines and interviewed…Read More
The astonishing biodiversity of Australia’s rainforests and the country’s dynamic conservation efforts make Queensland an extraordinary laboratory for students to study rainforest management and restoration. Students consider the role of catchments (watersheds), riparian restoration, and connections between rainforest and reef. Management strategies developed here may serve as a model for conserving and restoring other rainforests around the world.
SFS staff and students, in collaboration with local landholders and stakeholder organizations, focus on enhancing the condition of tropical rainforests and determining how to regenerate and restore the rainforest of the Atherton Tablelands. Of particular importance are the upland remnant forests threatened by climate change and the riparian forests that play an important role in the health of downstream ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef.
Students work with local stakeholders and indigenous groups to understand the livelihoods of local communities, natural resource management by these groups, and the connection of these communities to the surrounding environments.
Freeman, A. N. D., Catterall, C. P., & Freebody, K. (2015). Use of restored habitat by rainforest birds is limited by spatial context and species’ functional traits but not by their predicted climate sensitivity. Biological Conservation, 186, 107-114
Freeman, A. N. D. (2015). The bird community of an Acacia-dominated secondary rainforest; a brief case study. Australian Field Ornithology, 32, 59-68.
Kithiia, J. (2015). Resourceless victims or resourceful collectives: Addressing the impacts of climate change through social capital in fringing coastal communities. Ocean & Coastal Management, 106, 110-117.
Deep in the backcountry of Danbulla National Park, many ecosystems coexist in very close proximity.
The underbrush varies in species and density while the trees towering overhead shift rapidly from towering and bare Eucalyptus grandis with a wide-open canopy to densely packed rainforest species, with a dense canopy peppered with vines and epiphytes, all over relatively short distances. It is these ecotones, boundary areas between two distinct biomes, where students are working with Natural Resource Management Professor Catherine Pohlman to understand the nature of wet sclerophyll forests.Mike DeLue
SFS is an active partner in the community and our research provides scientific data which has policy implications for local decision-makers. Our students forge strong connections with residents who are passionate and knowledgeable about environmental stewardship. Participating in restoration projects alongside citizen volunteers, students come to understand rainforest ecosystems and management from a local perspective.
Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to attend special lectures, workshops, and celebration days in conjunction with regional and national conservation groups. In addition to a weekend-long homestay with a local family (semester only), students also enjoy hosting community dinners at the Center, attending festivals, visiting the Malanda theatre, and socializing at the local pubs and sporting competitions.
The field station lies on the edge of the Atherton Tablelands on 153 acres covered with rainforest and is a twenty minute drive from the small town of Yungaburra. The site is alive with the sights and sounds of tropical birds, bandicoots, pademelons, musky rat kangaroos, amethystine pythons, and other rainforest species.
December 5, 2017