|Round River Student Research and Study Programs|
Round River is dedicated to conservation strategies that preserve and restore wild places; to that end, we strive to develop and support traditions that sustain wildness. These efforts are anchored in the principles of conservation biology, supported by field research and community planning.
“Natural objects have a concrete reality that the abstractions of textbooks and lectures do not and cannot have…” – David Orr
Round River semester and summer research and study abroad programs are field-based experiences that offer small groups of students opportunities to contribute to and learn from participating in conservation efforts in big, wild landscapes. While earning college credit, students from diverse backgrounds study and immerse themselves in the ecology and culture of unique wild landscapes. Round River is entrenched in these places, and dedicated to fulfilling obligations to our local partners. While on a program, students become part of this effort, working alongside our local partners with Round River researchers and instructors.
We live on a planet that is diverse in life; a world of salmon rivers and cloud forests and red rock deserts. A lot of us know about these creatures and places having fed our curiosities in school, but few of us get to go out and do the real thing. This is what we do. Round River believes landscapes are powerful educators. Our student programs are designed to involve small groups of students with inspiring people in actual research projects that are finding and implementing solutions to real conservation issues.
What you can expect to experience
Working with Local People
We understand that the people living where we work are the long-term stewards of that landscape. Therefore, Round River forms partnerships with local people and organizations to provide scientific expertise and help form strategies to address their conservation needs. On our programs, students interact and work closely with these people, and not only get first hand experience with their culture, but also exposed to the complexities of achieving conservation objectives in communities with diverse needs and interests.
Round River feels that it is essential for anyone interested in conservation and the environment, regardless of interests and background, to get out and walk and work on the land. Ultimately, these programs are about getting your hands dirty, and offering you the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to a viable conservation initiative. You will spend most of your time in the field, conducting research and collecting data. You will gain valuable field skills and learn how to conduct research studies. Whether it is conducting habitat surveys, wildlife studies, game counts, or grassland inventories, you can plan on taking an active role and going home with an understanding on how research and conservation work is conducted.
Our courses are accredited through Utah State University. On our semester programs you will take 5 courses and receive 15 semester hours of college credit. The summer program offers 3 courses for 9 semester hours of credit. Our academics are an extension of our research. Readings, discussions, student-led seminars, and lectures supplement hands-on learning. Lectures are offered by our instructors, senior staff, visiting researchers and local experts. Discussions on relevant topics and issues take place in the field, on a hike, or around the campfire in the evening. During the program you will work with other participants, instructors, and researchers to ultimately compile and analyze the data you collected, to produce scientific reports and present your findings to our local partner.
Why Round River is Different
Round River is more than just an outdoor classroom or summer camp like experience, and students quickly realize they are part of something dynamic. While you will gain experience and be better prepared for graduate school by doing this fieldwork, you may also after working in a place like the deserts of Namibia find the inspiration for what you truly want your education and life in conservation to be. Some of our students have participated in somewhat similar programs, and offer that being part of a Round River group of only 5 to 12 people allowed them to see more, do more, and know that their input was needed and appreciated. Often coming back to do two or even three programs, students revel in the flexibility to explore diverse opportunities in each place where we work, and meet some of the people who are integral in our conservation efforts.
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