This study abroad will focus on two different areas within French Polynesia: the Windward Islands and the Marquesas. The Marquesas are one of the most remote island groups in the world. They are the furthest set of islands from any continental land mass. The Marquesan people are descendants from Polynesians that settled the islands around 1000 years ago. The culture is famous for a tradition of intricate woodcarvings, tattooing, and a warrior society. The islands are volcanic and range from 5.7–1.6 million years old. The biodiversity of the Marquesas is unique. It is largely endemic and comparatively complete to other parts of the Pacific. It is a place for students to effortlessly experience rich culture, adventure, and biology all at the same time.
Students involved in the French Polynesia study abroad will combine coursework and mentored research. Research will focus on the evolution of insects with a major focus on dragonflies and beetles. Students will cover a diverse set of island habitats. We will travel mostly by air and sea to document the species present, their distribution, and behavior. The study abroad is designed to not only provide a completely unique mentored research experience but to also result in presentations at national meetings and peer-reviewed publications with student authors.
Click here to apply today!