Climate Change, Ethics, and Conservation


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. Read more about the SFS program model.

Major academic themes include:

  • Climate change impacts
  • Elephant ecology and conservation
  • Traditional livelihoods and ecological knowledge
  • Community conservation strategies
  • Indigenous rights and challenges
  • Protected areas and threatened ecosystems
  • Environmental ethics and justice
  • Natural resource governance


On the Climate Change, Ethics, and Conservation 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: biodiversity assessments, population monitoring, animal behavior observation, protected areas assessments, tourism impact assessments, environmental impacts assessments, conservation strategy assessments, biodiversity survey techniques, forest survey methods, tag/recapture techniques, camera trapping, video and photo tracking, forest restoration techniques, interview methods, species management planning, citizen science protocols, conservation projects proposals, grant writing, ethics and reasoning, research design and implementation, quantitative/qualitative data collection and analysis, scientific writing and communication, basic Khmer language skills.

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include multiple elephant and animal sanctuaries, the ancient temple complex of Angkor, freshwater ecosystems of the Tonle Sap Lake, Mekong River, fishing and farming villages, protected community forests, semi-evergreen rainforests, historical and cultural sites in Phnom Penh, mountains, farms, and the bustling markets of Siem Reap.

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.

Find out More
All program components are subject to change.

Where You Live

Our most urban center lies on the outskirts of Siem Reap, near the famed temples of Angkor. The Center is a breezy, modern campus nestled in a quiet neighborhood minutes away from the bustling downtown area where you will find restaurants, shops, and markets with unique Cambodian flair.

  • Dorm living with 4-person bunkrooms
  • Classroom building includes library, study spaces, and balcony
  • Student lounge with loft and beanbag chairs
  • Expansive open-air dining area, and on-site cooking staff
  • Gyms and running routes in surrounding neighborhood
  • Swimming pool, gardens, and hammock bungalow