Natural Resource Management, Biodiversity, and Environmental Policy

Studying the Bower bird in the rainforest on the Australia: Rainforest, Reef, and Cultural Ecology program.

Download the catalog: 2013 Programs in Natural Resource Management, Biodiversity, and Environmental Policy - PDF

Across the globe, individuals are recognizing the profound importance of understanding the natural world and its complex relationship with society. In recent years, this has included an increasingly close analysis of the links between human action locally and environmental impacts globally.

SIT Study Abroad environmental studies programs explore the relationship between environmental and resource management policies, socioeconomic objectives, and ecological realities on scales ranging from local to national to international.

Environmental components for examination include:

  • Tropical rainforest ecology
  • Coral reef ecology
  • Protected-area management and human wildlife interface
  • Community-based forest management
  • Cultural beliefs and human impacts on the environment
  • Comparative marine ecology
  • Indigenous land rights and resources
  • Cloud forest ecology
  • Savanna wildlife conservation efforts
  • Delta ecology and water resources management

Students learn how to collect, analyze, integrate, and report social and ecological data in selected ecosystems to understand and evaluate critical environmental issues related to the program theme. Students are expected to consider the cultural and political context of current environmental challenges, such as reforestation and erosion control in Madagascar; species diversity and commercialization of forest products in the Amazon; coral reef ecology and ecotourism on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia; or efforts to preserve forests in Tasmania. Programs also consider the transnational effects of environmental change, such as the international implications of Mount Kilimanjaro’s retreating glaciers, or the conflict between traditional values of land stewardship and global trade in Brazil.