(NOTE: These pages are being updated for the Fall 2013 program.
The fall 2013 Wild Semester will consist of four environmental biology courses taught in the wilds of two continents
The wild semester involves three courses that are taught in the wilds of New Mexico, U.S.A, on the spectacular Ladder Ranch. The Ladder Ranch is a
155,550-acre property with great wildlife diversity, having a breathtaking mix of ecosystems ranging from
desert grasslands to pine forests in the foothills of the Black Range (Gila National Forest). Several streams intersect
the ranch and provide rich riparian areas for an array of wildlife. Throughout the course, we will live in the rustic, historic ghost
town of Hermosa, nestled in the mountains. Accomodations are dormitory-style; electricity is provided by solar power and
there is no phone service (a satellite phone and two-way radios are on hand for emergencies). On average, we make weekly trips into town for groceries and
cell phone service, often en route to a field trip. Courses will generally consist of daily lectures in a classroom
setting, with numerous guest lectures, particularly from state and federal agencies offering their invaluable
perspectives for Conservation Biology. Lectures are greatly supplemented with ample labs and field trips throughout NM and southeastern Arizona.
You must come with an adventurous spirit, unquenchable curiosity, great enthusiasm, and an absolute passion for nature. Please email me if you
want more information about this unforgettable experience and/or if you have any questions.
African Ecology is an INTENSE field course taught in the bush of South Africa. The course demonstrates the fundamental principles of ecology
within the context of the South African environment. Students will be exposed to a variety of habitats and vegetation types, such as
thorn scrub, succulent thicket, and coastal fynbos, one of the rarest vegetation types in the world. Students will have the opportunity
to observe and study a diversity of African wildlife, including the African megafauna (!): elephant, hippo, rhino, buffalo, and lion. Field
demonstrations will compliment topics covered in lectures. The emphasis of this course is to give students hands-on experience conducting
field research with both plants and animals. South African social and political history is critical to understanding the current state of
the natural environment as well as the pressing conservation concerns that we will see. "Mandela: The Authorized Biography" and "The Myth
of Wild Africa" are required reading for the class. We will interact daily with locals across socio-economic and political spectrums and
hear their uniquely informed perspectives on the state of the African environment and conservation. For more information on the South African portion of the program follow the African Ecology link