summer session I


Rainforests of New Zealand and Australia


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 and New Zealand. Read more about the SFS program model.

Major academic themes include:

  • Two-country comparison
  • Forest ecosystems
  • Natural resource management
  • Threatened species conservation
  • Human development impacts
  • Indigenous knowledge and histories


On the Rainforests of New Zealand and Australia program, you will take one 4-credit course. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This course is taught in English.

Click on the course to view a description and download the syllabus

SFS 3540 Rainforest Management Studies 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, and quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include primary/old-growth rainforests, Indigenous protected areas, podocarp and Kauri forests of northern New Zealand, rainforest restoration projects, fruit farms and other agricultural sites, and an eco-lodge in the rainforest.

A Summer with SFS!

Take back-to-back summer sessions and get the hands-on learning and skill-building experiences of an internship, while also going off the beaten path and exploring the world. Each summer session focuses on a different topic, and you’ll have time to travel independently between sessions. Receive a $1,000 discount on your second session (effective for Summer 2020).

Watersheds of the Wet Tropics (Australia Summer II)

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All program components are subject to change.

Where You'll Be Living

In Australia, at the end of a narrow, winding road, in the middle of a lush rainforest, lies the field station, a 153-acre property surrounded by protected World Heritage forests and the nearby town of Yungaburra 20 minutes away. For the New Zealand expedition, the group will stay in a variety of housing including a city-based hostel in Auckland, a traditional Māori marae, and area lodges. The Australia Center is described below:

  • Group living in 8-person cabins
  • Main building with classroom, lab, and study spaces
  • Student lounge with scenic porch views
  • Covered outdoor dining area, on-site cooking staff
  • Volleyball and extensive trail network for hiking
  • Swimming and running trails a nearby Crater Lake