Sustainable Development Studies

Environmental Field Studies Abroad

Sustainable Development Studies

The School for Field Studies (SFS) semester and summer programs in Costa Rica provide the opportunity for students to examine the effects of globalization on classic development issues such as agriculture, biodiversity protection, economic development, urban sprawl, population growth, waste management, and water resources. Student research analyzes different development and resource management models that protect the biodiversity of Costa Rica’s ecosystems while promoting socioeconomic benefits for its people. SEMESTER PROGRAM The semester program focuses on evaluating the actual success of Costa Rica’s world-renowned conservation systems and developing alternative strategies for economic development and biodiversity conservation, such as land-use planning, organic agriculture, and conservation outside of protected areas. SUMMER PROGRAMS Each 4-credit summer session may be taken individually or in combination. Session I: Sustaining Tropical Ecosystems: Biodiversity, Conservation, & Development Student research will focus on examining the impacts of development on the environment and on society by understanding key historical and current aspects of sustainable development strategies in Costa Rica, coupled with knowledge of tropical ecosystem function and connectivity. Session II: Applied Research Techniques & Strategies Toward Sustainability The focus of this program is on developing relevant research questions that address these local issues related to sustainability. Students will be directly involved in designing and conducting field research on a topic of immediate relevance to local clients and proposing alternative approaches toward sustainable development in an effort to help address challenges to conservation goals.

Subjects

  • Biology (General)
  • Tropical Biology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Management
  • Natural Sciences
  • Natural Resources
  • Anthropology
  • Sustainable Development
  • Latin American Studies
  • Accounting

Related Programs

Marine Resource Studies

The School for Field Studies (SFS) semester and summer programs in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) provide students with the opportunity to conduct field research that provides the local government, community, and tourism developers with recommendations that will help sustain the economic, social, and ecological stability of South Caicos. Snorkeling and SCUBA diving in waters surrounding South Caicos, students learn to identify and observe the behavior of marine species, assess coastal and marine habitats, and quantify fisheries resources through hours of training, observation, and study in the water. SEMESTER PROGRAM TCI has an extensive network of 34 protected areas, but little is known about their function and effectiveness. With the Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park and East Harbour Lobster and Conch Reserve at their doorstep, students evaluate the concept and practice of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a resource management tool. Through field observation, exercises, and research, students will gain the concepts, skills, and data to understand the marine ecosystems , island community dynamics, and resource management. SUMMER PROGRAMS Each 4-credit summer session may be taken individually or in combination. Session I: Tropical Marine Ecosystems: Monitoring and Management Students in this study abroad program will learn about key aspects of environmental assessment and management of tropical marine ecosystems and explore sustainable development strategies for the Turks and Caicos at a local and global scale. Students support the work of our clients and stakeholders, who range from local fishers to members of key government agencies. Session II: Applied Marine Research Techniques Students in this study abroad program will learn about developing scientific approaches to identify key problems affecting the health of coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests that surround the island Students support the work of our clients and stakeholders, who range from local fishers to members of key government agencies.

The School for Field Studies

100 Cummings Center, Suite 534-G, Beverly, MA 01915 USA

Ecology and Conservation of Southeast Asian Elephants

This 4-week program focuses on the ecology and conservation of the Asian elephant. Due to a drastic decrease in wild elephant populations, the reality of a world without these charismatic megafauna is becoming a likely possibility. In Asia this is primarily due to a booming human population and increased demand for space. Elephants are of great scientific interest due to their complex behaviors associated with intelligence and social interactions, forming deep family bonds and displaying empathy by recognizing and responding to another elephant’s pain or problem and showing signs of grief after the loss of a family member. Saving the elephants requires improved scientific understanding of the species and the increasingly complex environment that they inhabit.
 
During part of the program, students are based at the NGO E.L.I.E and their sanctuary, the Elephant Valley Project, located within Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri Province. The Elephant Valley Project is an elephant sanctuary that cares for injured and overworked elephants in a landscape where they forage naturally and roam the surrounding grassy hilltops and lush evergreen and mixed deciduous forests. You will spend time each day with the skilled and professional Bunong elephant caretakers, known as mahouts, who are the core of the sanctuary and have a deep connection with their elephants. You will also join volunteers for meals and, in your free time, you will have the opportunity to participate in scheduled volunteer activities.

The School for Field Studies

100 Cummings Center, Suite 534-G, Beverly, MA 01915 USA

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