Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Cairns, Australia
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: Wildlands Studies 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2025 10/15/2024 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Anthropology, Biology, Culture, Earth Science, Ecology, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Marine Science, Sciences, Tourism, Womens Studies, Zoology Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English
Program Type: Field Study, Study Abroad
Program Description:
The Program

Join us in Australia for an unforgettable program highlighting Far North Queensland’s most striking ecosystems. The program will guide students across Far North Queensland, an area of national and international significance due to its abundance of unique and threatened ecosystems and wildlife. We will study the stunning ecological diversity of the tropical north, from the coastal rainforests of the Wet Tropics (the world’s oldest tropical rainforest ecosystem), to the famed but imperiled Great Barrier Reef marine ecosystem, the world’s largest coral reef system.

We will study the region’s diverse flora, fauna, and habitats ranging from tropical rainforests to coral reefs. Team members will take part in firsthand investigations of these ecosystems, the species they support, the people who depend on them, and the conservation challenges they face today. We will immerse ourselves in the region’s fascinating natural history and biogeography and explore how it is entwined with ancient cultural traditions and more recent socioeconomic activity. Throughout, our focus will be the interface of two ecosystems that are starkly contrasting, tightly linked, and spatially adjacent: coral reefs and coastal rainforests. We will gain intimate knowledge of the locally dominant species in both systems as we master field techniques and analytical skills of universal utility to environmental scientists working in any habitat.

In addition to a firsthand examination of Australia’s northern tropical rainforests and Great Barrier Reef, we will extend our studies to the Atherton Tablelands, Australia's critically endangered Mabi Rainforest, inland to the desert ecosystems and fascinating caves of the Undara Lava Tubes. We will discuss the importance of maintaining connectivity between both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and the traditional and contemporary custodians of those landscapes to facilitate conservation strategies that effectively alleviate threats, such as land clearing, coastal development, the impacts of exotic species and climate change. All the while, we will hone our naturalist skills and become familiar with field survey techniques that are needed to monitor and conserve key flora and fauna. We will focus on the land-sea interface, studying indicators for determining the health of the reefs and rainforest, which we will compare and contrast between a number of locations up the coast.

As we gain familiarity with these ecosystems, we will carry out our own scientific field assessments by examining species interactions, patterns of diversity, and behavior. We will investigate how geological, ecological and human activity have played a defining role in the evolution, survival and success of the unique flora and fauna of the Wet Tropics. We will also engage with various stakeholders in an effort to understand their diverse and sometimes contrasting perspectives toward conservation “best practices.” Through these rich experiences, participants will have unique learning opportunities to assess the challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation and social-ecological resilience in modern-day Australia.

Students will gain a firsthand experience of the fascinating natural history and biogeography of this region, where 45 million years of isolation have supported the existence and evolution of species found nowhere else on Earth. Each team will investigate Indigenous and marine protected areas, national parks and/or privately owned lands to study the ecology, conservation, and management of ecosystems and threatened wildlife and plant populations, within changing social-cultural contexts and a regressive political climate.

Program Details

Location: Cairns, Australia
Dates:Spring 2025: April 10–May 23, 2025
Applications: Accepted on a rolling admission basis
Accommodations:  Primarily camping or rural lodge
Credits: 15 quarter credits or 10 semester credits
Language: English instruction
Courses: Environmental Wildlands Studies, Environmental Field Survey, Wildlands Environment and Culture
Prerequisites: One college level course in environmental studies, environmental science, ecology or similar. 18 years of age

Program Costs

Australia Spring 2025
$      150    Application Fee
$   7,000   Program Fee
$   4,300   In-Country Logistics Fee
$   2,150   Estimated Airfare and Mandatory Travel Insurance
$   1,250   Estimated Food and Personal Expenses

$14,850     Total Estimated Cost
Spring 2025: Program fees due by February 1, 2025