e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Education Abroad

ESF Short-Term Programs

ESF offers several faculty-led, short-term international academic courses throughout the academic year. Since the courses are offered by ESF, students enroll in the course directly with the college and credits and grades earned appear on students' transcripts. Most courses will meet a few times throughout the semester and travel over spring break or following the end of the semester.

ESF has also be proud to participate in the SUNY Stands with Puerto Rico recovery initiative. Although not a credit-bearing course, ESF has led multiple student groups to Puerto Rico to participate in recovery work with the local community post-Hurricane Maria.

Course offerings change year to year. For the most up to date availability, please contact OIE at oie@esf.edu. Previously offered courses include:

ERE 311: Ecological Engineering in the Tropics

This course will meet throughout the spring semester, with travel to Costa Rica over spring break. Students will study principles of ecological engineering for ecosystem restoration and pollution control. Field trips to pristine and degraded ecosystems including: humid tropical cloud forests, coastal mangrove, dry mountain forests, and coral reefs to identify target functions for nature and society, observe degradations, and develop sustainable restoration designs.

EFB 523: Tropical Ecology

Explore the principles of tropical ecology, nature conservation, and sustainable resource management during an intensive field study in Ecuador over Spring break and in weekly on-campus meetings during the Spring semester. Learn about theories explaining the high biological diversity of the tropical terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in some of the most biodiverse places on our planet. Our main base in Ecuador is at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station, deep in the rainforests of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, but our field explorations include diverse tropical ecosystems across the Andes: tropical dry forests, cloud forests, paramo, montane tropical forests, and lowland rainforest with aquatic whitewater river and lagoon ecosystems.

FOR 404: Ecotourism

This course is taught in collaboration with GreenTrek, a tour program that specializes in service-based student tours in South America. This course is designed to give students an international perspective on ecotourism, nature tourism, and volunteer tourism. During spring break, students will visit several ecotourism and nature tourism sites in Peru, meet with the managers of these sites, and discuss and assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts of ecotourism and nature tourism on local communities. The trip to Peru will incorporate a service learning component that engages students in volunteer efforts. Prior to the trip to Peru, four class sessions will be held on campus to teach students skills needed for the trip.

EFB 500: From Ridge to Reef: Invertebrate Conservation Biology

This course will introduce students to the complexities of the conservation biology of invertebrates in a small tropical country. We will emphasize the similarities and differences in doing conservation biology in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats. We will review foundational concepts in ecology and evolution as they relate to conservation biology, and will touch upon the interplay of geology, anthropology, geopolitics and economics that have conspired to make the Republic of Palau such an interesting place. Relevant aspects of the biology of invertebrates will be reviewed.

EFB 434: Ecosystem Restoration Design

This course comprises two parts: a ten-day field component in Chiapas, Mexico in August, and an on-campus component during the fall semester. Students are introduced to the complexities of ecosystem restoration through a variety of different means: field work at research sites in the rainforest, working alongside restoration professionals, visits to both degraded and pristine ecosystems, and participating in culturally educational activities (e.g., a Mayan poetry reading). After returning to the US, students will continue learning ecosystem restoration principles and practice through textbook learning, seminar discussions, and design workshops.

ENS 596: Interdisciplinary International Ecosystem Design Workshop

This course comprises two parts: a two-week component abroad in to cities in Spain: Vitoria-Gasteiz and Madrid, and an on-campus component during the fall semester. The Spain component of the course is necessary training for the longer, in-depth fall project. In the fall semester, students will prepare a poster presentation on the work done in Spain and then engage a team project addressing urban forestry, watershed conservation, biodiversity, ecological restoration, urban / regional open space systems, etc. for one or more local municipalities in Upstate New York or elsewhere in the Northeast.