This study abroad program takes students to three countries in the Central and South Pacific to teach foundational concepts in ecology and conservation. By exploring ecosystems of different ages, students will master concepts of coral reef ecology, ecosystem development, community assembly, and adaptive radiations. Island ecosystems are some of the most vulnerable in the world and this exploration through the Pacific will demonstrate how to quantify and address drivers of environmental vulnerability. Central to this experience is to see how three distinct but related Polynesian cultures have addressed conservation issues, from ahupua’a community management in Hawaii, to village-scale projects to address climate change in Samoa, to invasive species management in New Zealand.
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