Field Studies Program
Intensive learning experiences in environmental science involving lecture and field work in remote, pristine, environmentally significant locations are available at Merrimack College. This program invites students to witness the biological complexity and precision of temperate and tropical ecosystems, to appreciate their natural beauty and rich history, and to understand the effects of human activities on these ecosystems. Each course requires the total participation of the student in an interactive and creative teaching –learning situation, and involves preparation for the field expedition by a study and review of all pertinent materials prior to travel. In the field, individual and group projects are designed to demonstrate the principles that govern natural ecosystems, and students are encouraged to consider possible conservation measures that might be implemented to preserve the environment within the context of existing governments and needs of the native people. Courses offered thus far have included a study of the temperate coastal marine ecology at Shoals Marine Laboratory in the Gulf of Maine, tropical marine biology in Belize, Central America Program (see Happenings section.), tropical forest and river ecology in the Amazon River Basin in Brazil, and the ecology of tropical grasslands, savannas and wetlands in Tanzania, East Africa. The expeditions are supervised by experienced faculty members and there is an additional fee for travel and accommodations expenses. This program is offered to all science majors, and welcomed non-majors who are concerned about and interested in environmental issues.