Sustaining Human Societies and the Environment

A Study Abroad to New Zealand

During May Session 2015 Dr. David Hix is leading students to New Zealand to study "Sustaining Human Socieites and the Environment." This 3.5-week study abroad program examines the natural (and related social) history and resource conservation of New Zealand's South Island. The goal of this course is using the New Zealand case to integrate the different perspectives of diverse natural, biological, and social science disciplines to improve understanding of relationships between human societies and the natural environment.

Students began the program in the garden city of Christchurch taking classes with leading experts from New Zealand universities (e.g. Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury), government departments (e.g. Department of Conservation), iwi (Maori tribes), and scientific research bodies (e.g. Landcare Research). This is followed by a field study which encompasses the South Island. The itinerary includes Mount Cook, the wild West Coast, swimming with dolphins at Kaikoura, a guided kayak of Abel Tasman National Park, a guided hike on Fox Glacier, a sheep farm visit, a visit to a Maori marae, and a boat cruise on Milford Sound.

 Dr. Hix has shared the following photos.

This class photo taken late in the day after viewing penguins, sea lions and seals on the Otaga Peninsula,

this photo was taken during a boat tour,

and there will always be O-H-I-O in New Zealand!