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Travel Study


Biodiversity of Alaskan Ecosystems Field Course

Anticipated: Summer 2016

Last offered: Summer 2014

This field based course introduces Alaska’s diverse wildlife in a biological, ecological and evolutionary context. The course will provide students with an overview of the recent research and current issues related to the diverse flora and fauna of Alaska’s ecosystems, including effects of climate change, over consumption and management of populations, and pollution effects of mining and fossil fuel extraction. Local culture and native tribes will be introduced, as well as geography and geology, ecosystem characterization and connections, and wildlife populations and conservation. Students will also meet with local scientists and participate in field work and seminars. Students will be able to observe first-hand the ecological concepts and biological characteristics of Alaska’s wildlife. (Prerequisite: ENVS 2000)

ENVS 4900A Biodiversity of Alaskan Ecosystems Field Course (1 credit)
See CourseWizard for course syllabus.
Instructor: Paul Arena, Ph.D., assistant professor
Contact Information: | (954) 262-8335 | Parker Building, Room 370L

If you choose to enroll in this course, please follow these directions:

  • Complete the application and the Release of Liability form.
  • Make three copies of the application and the Release of Liability form.
    • Submit one copy to your instructor.
    • Submit one copy to the Office of the Dean in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences with your deposit.
    • Keep one copy for your records.
  • Register for the class with your academic advisor during open registration.
  • Submit final payment to the Office of the Dean in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Required Documents

Travel Study Application
Release of Liability Form
Frequently Asked Questions


Day 1
Fly from Miami International Airport to Fairbanks, Alaska

Day 2
Permafrost Tunnel tour
Transalaskan Pipeline
UAF Large Animal Research tour
Creamer’s Field hike
UAF Museum of the North
Salmon Bake feast at Pioneer Park

Day 3
Shuttle to Denali
Lunch at Salmon Bake
Hike entrance trails
Dinner at Morino Grill
Head to camp
Presentation on golden eagle by Pay McIntyre, Denali bird ecologist

Day 4
Bear ecology hike
Seminar by Pat Owen, Denali bear ecologist

Days 5
Hike above tree line
Hike to fossilized dinosaur tracks

Day 6
Travel to Seward
Lunch at Glacier Brew House
Bird Point, Tern Lake

Day 7
Intertidal walk
Day cruise through Kenai Fjords National Park
Calving at glacier
Pelagic bird nesting sites
Marine mammals
Hike Exit Glacier
Dinner at Salmon Bake 

Day 8
Free day in Seward
Optional fishing trip $300 (salmon, halibut)

Day 9
Optional guided kayak tour
Alaska Sealife Center
Marine Mammal Encounter
Drive to Anchorage

Day 10
Hike Potter Marsh
Climb Flattop Mountain
Earthquake Park

Day 11
Native Heritage Center
Evening flight to Miami

Day 12
Arrive in Miami (morning)

Included Services

  • airfare
  • accommodations
  • all mandatory activities
  • some meals

Not Included

  • NSU tuition and fees related to the course
  • travel insurance (required)
  • optional activities
  • some meals
  • incidentals and gratuities

Travel study trips often require strenuous activity that may be difficult for some students. In many destinations, special accommodations are not available. If you may require special accommodations to participate in a travel study trip, please speak with the respective faculty member to determine whether or not you should enroll in this class.

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