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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Queensland, Australia
  • Program Terms: Fall, Program Cost, Spring
  • Restrictions: USD applicants only
  • PROGRAM COST: Program Cost
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2018 03/20/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
NOTE: Do not book air travel until being fully enrolled in the program

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students 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:
Language Requirement: None GPA: 2.75
Internships: No Disciplines offered: Biology (BIOL), College of Arts and Sciences, Environmental and Ocean Sciences (ENVR), Political Science and International Relations (POLS), Undergraduate
Accomodations: On- site apartments Service-Learning: Yes
Research: Yes Program Advisor: Brittany Williams-
Tuition Remission Eligible Program: No Program Type: Undergraduate
Program Description:


AUSTRALIA: Queensland

School for Field Studies

Fall/Spring Semester Program


While representing only a small percentage of the world's rainforest, the astonishing biodiversity of Australia's rainforest and the country's dynamic conservation efforts make Queensland an extraordinary laboratory for studying rainforest management and restoration. Recent cyclones have further damaged the remaining rainforest fragments, raising questions on how to manage these hyper-disturbed areas.

Conservation challenges and cutting-edge management strategies developed here will likely serve as a model for conserving the rest of the world's tropical rainforests.  The ecological and economic benefits of rainforests are increasingly well-understood, but much less is known about rainforest ecosystem dynamics and the ability to restore a rainforest once it has been cleared. Our goals are to help understand the dynamics of rainforest ecosystems, including potential impacts of global climate change, and in turn develop rainforest restoration strategies that benefit both ecosystems and human communities. 


The Center for Rainforest Studies lies at the end of the Atherton Tablelands in the heart of the traditional land of the Yidinji people. Protected World Heritage forests and farmland surround the rolling, tropical site. A third of the property's 153 acres is mature rainforest within which the student cabins are nestled. Sightings of tropical birds, bandicoots, pademelons, primitive musky rat kangaroo, amethystine pythons, and other unique rainforest species are common. The site is alive with the sounds of the rainforest.

Visit the School for Field Studies website

Student research work addresses a critical local and regional environmental problem -- loss and fragmentation of once extensive rainforests, and the environmental policies that are currently under consideration by the local and Commonwealth governments. SFS staff and students, in collaboration with local landholders and stakeholder organizations, focus on enhancing the condition of tropical rainforests, as well as determining how we should regenerate and restore the rainforest on the Atherton Tablelands. Students learn professional field research techniques as they collect data on potential responses to global climate change, habitat use and animal behaviors, resilience to cyclonic events, land-use, local resident involvement in restoration projects, and cost effective and ecologically beneficial methods of restoration. Student work represents a vital contribution toward larger studies on global climate change, biological integrity of rainforest fragments, and developing restoration practices to maximize rates of plant growth and colonization by fauna. Students are actively involved in either rainforest replanting or site maintenance with local landcare groups.

Students are required to have completed one semester of college level ecology or biology prior to participating in the program.

Semester students are registered in four academic courses:

BI/EE (NS) 369 Rainforest Ecology

EE (NS) 370 Principles of Forest Management

EE (SS) 302 Environmental Policy and Socioeconomic Values

EE 491 or 492 Directed Research


Students share comfortably furnished eight person cabins with adjacent shower and bathroom facilities. The main building has a fully-equipped computer laboratory, 24-hour internet access, up-to-date scientific library, and a student common room. The kitchen and cook provide nutritious, healthy menus to suit all tastes. Tour the field station.

While each SFS site has a computer room with internet access, these labs are very small and are shared between all the students at the site. It is important to remember proper etiquette and not spend large amounts of time on the computers when others are waiting to use them. Students are welcome to bring their own laptops with proper documentation and insurance; however, it should be noted that as the SFS sites are fairly remote, if the laptop malfunctions, it may not be able to be fixed until the student returns to the United States.

The program fee is billed through the School for Field Studies (SFS), NOT through USD.  Students will need to make a $500 deposit towards their program fees within 10 days of being accepted to the program.  The remaining balance is due no later than 60 days prior to the start date of the program.

Students will receive their SFS program fee bill at the home address they provide on their SFS application.  The program fee includes:

Room and board
Program related ground transportation
Park entrance fees
Field equipment and supplies
Pre and post program advising through SFS


For a detailed description of program costs please see the Program Cost in the box at the top of this webpage. 

The School for Field Studies (SFS) is committed to make studying abroad affordable to students.  We are pleased to announce new SFS scholarship
programs for students which will help broaden participation in our summer and semester field-based programs. These new offerings are designed to
complement or enhance our existing financial aid options (

Trailblazer Grant:
We have extended the popular SFS Trailblazer Grant!  Students who participate in the Bhutan, Cambodia/Vietnam, or Peru semester programs
during the 2015-2016 academic year are eligible for this award.  Awards will be made on the basis of need and may supplement other awards of SFS
need-based scholarships, travel grants, and zero- or low-interest loans. 

Heritage Scholarship: 
This need-based scholarship is available for students with a cultural and ancestral connection to the country in which they plan to study abroad with SFS. This scholarship will help students explore this heritage within the context of environmental research. In order to be considered
for our need-based Heritage Scholarship, students should attach a personal statement to their SFS Financial Aid Application indicating how
they qualify for this award. This scholarship is currently available to students of Tanzanian, Kenyan, Cambodian, Costa Rican, Peruvian, Panamanian, Turks & Caicos Islander, Australian, or New Zealand descent. A Heritage Scholarship may also be known by its individual country name
such as the Peruvian-American Heritage Scholarship Award or the Cambodian-American Heritage Scholarship Award.

Diversity Scholarship:
The SFS Diversity Scholarship is one of the ways SFS broadens the participation of under-represented groups of students in study abroad.
For SFS, under-represented groups include, but are not limited to, students who identify with a certain race, sex, color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry, ethnic origin, or veteran
status. Under-represented groups also include first generation college students and students from low income families.  In order to be considered for the need-based Diversity Scholarship, students should attach a personal statement to their SFS Financial Aid Applications to explain how their participation in an SFS program would broaden the diversity of the program.

Pell Grant Match Award
SFS matches Federal Pell Grant funding for all SFS semester programs to students who use their Pell Grant to help pay the cost of their SFS
program. Students must complete the SFS Financial Aid Application in order to receive this award. The total award package is not limited to
the amount of the Pell Grant. Students will also be considered for additional scholarships, travel grants, and loans offered by SFS that
could enhance this award.

For more information on SFS scholarships, financial aid, and loans, please visit:


Students need a visa to study in Australia for one semester. School for Field Studies will send students instructions on how to apply for a visa. 


* Camp in Chillagoe and explore the Outback’s caves, rock formations, remnant dry rainforests, and eucalypt savanna

* Enjoy a multi-day excursion to Cape Tribulation and Daintree National Park, home to one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world: hike through lowland rainforests, mangrove forests, and palm forests; traverse the Daintree River, famous for its crocodiles; visit the canopy tower at the Daintree Discovery Centre


To view the SFS YouTube video, click here