Explore the verdant rainforests of Australia, which are threatened by development, climate change, and invasive species, leaving fragments that are often too small or isolated to act as viable habitat. Step into the rainforest and develop field research skills across multiple disciplines to better understand forest ecology, restoration, and conservation.
Spend the summer living in the ancient Australian rainforest. This program provides students with the opportunity to explore an ecosystem like none other, study approaches to natural resource management, practice techniques for field research. This summer course can be taken individually (4 credits) or in combination with Session 1 in Australia and New Zealand for a total of 8 credits.
Session 2 includes a multi-day excursion to Daintree National Park and a field trip and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. Combine this course with Session 1 in Australia and New Zealand for a comparative look at ecosystems and approaches to conservation and restoration. Students participating in both sessions receive a $1,000 discount.
Week 1: Orientation, classes begin, snorkel assessment at Lake Eacham, community service with TREAT
Week 2: Field techniques: fauna (spotlighting, live trapping, bird surveys, interviews) and community service with TREAT
Week 3: Field teachniques: flora (plant identification, vegetation sampling) and excursion to Great Barrier Reef
Week 4: Excursion to Daintree National Park, writing and study time for final exam and assignments
Week 5: Closing activities
Itinerary subject to change.
A Note about Program Costs
Includes all pre-program advising services, room and board at the field station and on excursions, park entrance and research fees, program-related transportation, emergency evacuation insurance, and official transcript processing.
Does not include international airfare, international medical insurance, medical costs, and personal non-program related expenses.
SFS 3550 Techniques for Rainforest Research (4 credits)
This course includes a wide range of hands- on field activities and lectures that concentrate on developing management recommendations for reforestation practices on the Tablelands of Australia. We explore the ecological roles, environmental services, and economic benefits of tropical rainforests, including their role in the health of downstream ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. Students examine the structure and function of Australian tropical rainforests and the roles that humans have played, and are playing, in current forest dynamics. We examine reforestation applications on the Tablelands: the goals, techniques, successes, and failures. Finally, we develop and maintain an actual rainforest restoration project.