Conservation, Ethics, and Environmental Change


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 Cambodia.

Major academic themes include:

  • Climate change impacts on the Tonlé Sap Lake
  • Elephant ecology and conservation
  • Traditional ecological and medicinal knowledge
  • Community conservation strategies
  • Environmental ethics and justice
  • Natural resource governance


On the Conservation, Ethics, and Environmental Change program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit language and culture course, 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 each course to view a description and download the syllabus

SFS 2080 Language and Culture of Cambodia 2 credits
SFS 3800 Conservation Science and Practice 4 credits
SFS 3810 Ecosystems and Livelihoods 4 credits
SFS 3820 Environmental Ethics and Development 4 credits
SFS 4910 Directed Research 4 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: Species identification and wildlife monitoring, conservation grant writing, research design and implementation, ecosystem health assessments, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, research presentation, and Khmer language skills.

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities, which may include a forested elephant sanctuary, the ancient temple complex of Angkor, protected community forests, coastal ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems on the Tonle Sap Lake, fishing villages, mangrove forests, mountains, farms, urban centers, and the elaborate canals and bustling floating markets of the Mekong Delta.

Directed Research

In the Directed Research course, each student completes a field research project under the mentorship of a faculty member – beginning with data collection and analysis and concluding with a research paper and presentation. Project subject areas span ecology, natural resource management, conservation science, environmental ethics, and socioeconomics.

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All program components are subject to change.