summer session II


Watersheds of the Wet Tropics


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. Read more about the SFS program model.

Major academic themes include:

  • Watershed management
  • Rainforest, coastal, and marine ecology
  • Ecosystem connections between the rainforest and reef
  • Biodiversity assessments
  • Impacts of human development


On the Watersheds of the Wet Tropics 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 3161 Wet Tropics Watershed Ecology and Conservation 4 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: habitat and biodiversity assessment, rainforest restoration techniques, water quality assessments, citizen science protocols, human development impact assessment methods, and approaches to watershed management.

Field Sites

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

Where You'll Be Living

At the end of a narrow, winding road, in the middle of a lush rainforest, lies this remote field station. Our 153-acre property is surrounded by protected World Heritage forests, and you can see incredible wildlife from the front steps of your cabin. Nearby Yungaburra and Cairns provide the occasional return to civilization.

  • 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
  • On-campus trails network for rainforest hikes
  • Space to relax: volleyball, yoga, hammocks

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