Jan
25

Welcome to the Jungle!

Beth Nadler

Centerville, OH

Forestry, Fisheries, and WildlifeBeth_Blog

About four months ago I found myself being jostled up and down in the backseat of a 4WD vehicle while entering the dense Australian rainforest. I couldn’t help but wonder- what had I gotten myself into? My apprehensions quickly gave way to awe as a forest unlike any I had ever seen rushed by, and in a few minutes I reached the Centre for Rainforest Studies. The site is operated by The School for Field Studies, a study abroad program with centers around the world focused on providing students with hands-on, in the field learning in a foreign country. Throughout the course of the semester 25 other students and I were able to take part in the experience of a lifetime. Few hours were spent in an actual “classroom,” yet we learned so much about the environment, Australia, and even ourselves. Through field lectures and excursions across the Tablelands in Far North Queensland, to the Outback, and even to the Great Barrier Reef we gained a better understanding of how diverse ecosystems can be, but also of the underlying processes that unite them. We met many locals (as well as creatures), became immersed in the culture, and eventually became a part of the community. I have come away from this study abroad experience with new friends, field skills, and an even greater appreciation for our earth. I hope that many of my fellow students may receive the opportunity to partake in such an adventure.

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