Environmental Science & Sustainability

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Travel Opportunities

We believe that opportunities for international travel can and should be a critical part of an undergraduate education.

We work to provide an array of travel options so that you can choose the type of study that works best for you. Because we value international opportunities, we will make sure that relevant study abroad will not affect your ability to graduate on time.

Short-term seminars

The ENSS Department at Drake offers at least one international travel seminar related to environmental science or sustainability every January. These include:

  • The study of habitat conservation in marine and forest systems in southern Belize (contact Professor David Courard-Hauri for details);

  • Ecotourism and economic development in Ecuador and the Galapagos (contact Professor David Courard-Hauri for details);

  • Conservation planning, ecotourism, and sustainable development around the national parks in in Rwanda (contact Professor Michael Renner for details);

  • Captive management of endangered species and conservation education in Zoos, including Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines and Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida (contact Professor Michael Renner for details).

Research abroad

Many ESS students engage in research abroad, as either a stand-alone project or as part of a larger study abroad opportunity. In the last few years, students have studied in places like Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Australia. The ESS Department also works closely with officials at the Gishwati Forest in Rwanda. This forest is home to numerous fascinating organisms, including a troop of chimpanzees, but is also faced with development and hunting pressures from outside. ESS professor and primate specialist Michael Renner frequently brings students to Rwanda to engage in research important to improving chimpanzee protection there.

Semester study

The Drake International Office helps to organize semester study opportunities for Drake students. Many of our students interested in extended study abroad opportunities travel through our partnership with the School for Field Studies, which has programs in Peru, Australia, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Turks and Caicos, and elsewhere. Students in these programs take courses that fulfill requirements for our major, and also engage in important undergraduate research projects.

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