Environmental Science in Australia
Typically this program is offered in spring semester during alternate years, operating spring 2012, spring 2014, etc. It is open to science and non-science students interested in environmental studies. We will be offering an additional opportunity for spring 2013 - see below.
A combination of lectures, extensive field experiences and brief research projects enable students to learn about and appreciate this fascinating continent. All courses are taken concurrently and are highly integrated to provide a strong interdisciplinary focus.
Students are free to travel independently after the program as well as during spring break.
To see blogs and a YouTube video from the 2012 and 2013 groups, click on the links shown below.
The prerequisite course requirement for this program is Biology 126 (Organismic Biology) OR Environmental Studies 137 (Introduction to Environmental Studies) OR Biology/Enviromental Studies 226 (Conservation Biology). Group size is limited to 24 students and is open to qualified sophomores, juniors and seniors. In other words, interested students should be in their first, sophomore, or junior year when applying. The program is also open to qualified students from other institutions. Selection is made on the basis of each applicant's professional interest, scholastic standing, aptitude for rigorous travel conditions, class in college, faculty recommendations, and an interview.
Declaration of Intent Due: 01 November 2012
Application Due: 01 March 2013
International and Off-Campus Studies Office
Interviews, Selection and Notification: March 2013
Orientation Retreat: 27-28 April 2013
Except during spring break, participants are required to remain with the group at all times and take part in all curricular and co-curricular activities, and to travel with the group in accordance with the planned program. Participants must provide their own transportation to and from the U. S. departure point on the West Coast.
In 2012, the program was $13,540 over and above St. Olaf tuition ($9580 above remaining on-campus). The program covers: round-trip international travel from the West Coast to Australia (arrive in Melbourne and depart from Brisbane); all surface travel in Australia; all accommodations including equipment for tent camping; breakfast and one main meal/day as well as lunches on all field excursions; transportation of 50 pounds of baggage, checked or unchecked. The program fee does not cover meals, accommodations, or transportation during breaks.
|Queenscliff (Marine Discovery Centre)||Lamington National Park (rain forest)|
|Otway Ranges & Great Ocean Road||North Stradbroke Island (MBRS)|
|Wilson's Promontory National Park||Carnarvon Gorge National Park|
|Phillip Island Nature Parks||Biloela, Cattle Station|
|Jindabyne & Snowy Mountain)||Heron Island Research Station (Great Barrier Reef)|
|Canberra (National Capital)||Brisbane|
Four courses are offered (two biology, one sociology/anthropology, one
Biology 226: Terrestrial Ecology
Focus on Australian flora and fauna as influenced by landscape and climate (past and present). The impact of past and present human activity are examined from an ecological perspective. Lectures supplemented by extensive field trips and short term field research projects. Counts toward Biology major (biology majors see note below for information on core requirements), and Environmental Studies major and concentration (natural science or elective). GE: Oral Communications (ORC), Scientific Exploration & Discovery (SED).
Biology 224: Marine Biology
Covers abiotic as well as biotic factors and their relationships. Includes an examination and effects of geological and climatic influences. The environmental impact of human activity are examined. Lectures supplemented by field trips from the cold waters of Southern Australia to the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Counts toward Biology major (biology majors see note below for information on core requirements), and Environmental Studies major and concentration (natural science or elective).
Special Note for Biology Majors: Biology majors may choose to fulfill EITHER the multicellular organism core course OR the ecology core course of the major (not both). The other biology course counts as an elective in the major.
Sociology/Anthropology 222: Cultural Anthropology
An introduction to the native aboriginal culture of Australia, their adaptations and role in the environment. Examines the European impact on the aborigines and on the Australian environment since settlement. Lectures supplemented by field trips and participatory experiences. Counts toward major. GE: Multicultural Studies (MCG). Counts toward Environmental Studies major and concentration (social science or elective).
Political Science 221: Environmental Policy
Examination of the present political structure and organization of Australian government and political parties. Special emphasis on policies concerning the environment and aboriginal people. Lectures supplemented by field trips including a stay in Canberra, the national capitol. Counts toward major. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS). Counts toward Environmental Studies major and concentration (social science or elective).
Letter grades are recorded on the student's transcript but only the Terrestrial Ecology grade can count in the grade point average. Students have the option of taking this biology course for a grade or for S/U (if S/U, no course credit is given where the grade earned is below C).
Dave and Pat Van Wylen are well versed in faculty led off-campus programs, having taken students and family members on Term in the Middle East and Term in Asia in addition to leading off-campus interim programs in Peru and Atlanta and a summer program in Tanzania. Dave is a professor in the Biology Department (teaches Human Anatomy & Physiology and Human Biology) with long standing interests in cardiac physiology and recently developed interest water-related issues. Pat works in St. Olaf's International and Off-Campus Studies office. Together, Dave and Pat love traveling and learning about new cultures and geographies.
Field Supervisors - 2014
Steve and Kelly Wolford Freedberg. Steve is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist who uses molecular and field studies of freshwater turtles to address questions related to: sex-ratio evolution, the evolution of sex determination, and gene introgression in animals. Steve has led a number of biology interim programs (Desert Biology, Equatorial Biology). Kelly is a family law attorney and mediator with undergraduate degrees in History, Psychology and English Literature from Washington University. She has run her own law practice since 2010. more to come...
For further information, please contact:
Program Adviser: Paul Jackson, Regents 422, x3404, Email: email@example.com
2014 Field Supervisor: Steve Freedberg, firstname.lastname@example.org (on-sabbatical leave 2012-13)
2014 Asst. Field Supervisor: Kelly Wolford Freedberg
2013 Field Supervisor: Dave Van Wylen, RNS 216, x3967, email@example.com
2013 Asst. Field Supervisor: Pat Van Wylen TOM 387, x3747, firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 Steve and Kelly Wolford Freedberg
2013 Dave and Pat Van Wylen
2012 Paul Jackson and Ann Marie Boyle
2010 Kim Kandl and Nathan Soland
2008 Paul Jackson and Ann Marie Boyle
2006 Anne Walter and Mike Swift
2004 Ted and Michelle Johnson
2002 Gene and Lois Bakko
2000 Bob and Pam Jacobel
1998 Kathy Shea and Mike Farris
1996 Gene and Lois Bakko
International and Off-Campus Studies, Tomson Hall 380, X3069; Email: email@example.com
Persons interested in leading this off-campus program in 2014, 2016, 2018 and beyond should contact the Program Adviser.