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Conservation & Development Studies in Cambodia

Photo submitted by Emma Downs.
  • City: Siem Reap (Sem/Sum), Mondulkiri Province (Summer)
  • Term: Fall, Winter, Summer
  • Instruction in: English
  • Requirements: Semester: One college-level Ecology, Biology, or Environmental Studies/Science course; Summer: No academic prerequisites
  • Students interested in: Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences; EEB, Environment, Sustainability¬†

Semester: From the temples of Angkor to Tonle Sap Lake, students learn about threats to biodiversity, environmental governance, and the ways in which conservation efforts and community livelihoods are intertwined. On this 15-week program, students will spend time in the elephant-inhabited forests, mountain and coastal ecosystems, and the Mekong Delta region. Students can take up to 18 credits in courses including Language and Culture of Cambodia; Conservation Science and Practice; Ecosystems and Livelihoods; Environmental Ethics and Development; and Directed Research.

Summer: Earn six credits while exploring some of the remote regions of Cambodia and Thailand where elephants roam. In Cambodia, the lush Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary will be your base, studying the behavior, ecology, and welfare needs of the endangered Asian elephant. Visit the vibrant city of Phnom Penh and the ancient temples of Angkor to explore the history and culture of Cambodia.

In Thailand, delve into human-wildlife conflict and conservation pressures and examine elephant management practices while you are based in a village bordering Kui Buri National Park. Complete your journey in the vibrant hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Stay at the Elephant Valley Project (EVP) in the forested Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary to observe semi-wild, rehabilitated, Asian elephants from meters away as they forage, bathe, and interact with each other in a protected setting. Stay at Bring the Elephants Home (BTEH) in homestays in Ruam Thai village next to the world renowned Kuiburi National Park where you are guaranteed to see wild elephants on safari tours and when crop-raiding.