ABEC Travel Opportunities

Upcoming Travel Options

During each year, the ABEC department conducts a number of nature-focused trips for students. Some of these experiences are associated with academic credit; others are conducted solely as informal learning opportunities. Learn more about upcoming travel options.


Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation

Through the Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation Program students are trained via intensive field studies, and then bring that knowledge back to Western New York to promote conservation in the local community. Locations of past CAC studies have included the Monterey Marine Reserve in California, Pacific Rim National Park in British Columbia, Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica, Kadulla National Park in Sri Lanka, Gombe National Park in Tanzania, and Camp Leakey in Indonesia. Upon returning to Western New York, the students serve as public educators at local zoological institutions and wildlife refuges, make presentations at local schools, develop pro-conservation web pages, and produce pro-conservation videos. Learn more about Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation. 


Canisius Zoological Society

The Canisius Zoological Society is a campus club for people who want to engage in nature-focused service activities. This organization embraces all members of the Canisius College community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and family members). In addition to local activities, members can travel to distant locations to engage in ecotourism and service. Recently, the group traveled to Costa Rica to study rainforest ecology and plant trees on a former golf course. Information about upcoming CZS trips can be found on the upcoming travel page. 


ABEC 351: Zoo Exhibitry

Students interested in working in zoos, can register for Zoo Exhibitry (ABEC 351), a one-credit course. Students enrolled in this course travel to numerous zoos during fall or spring break to learn about and critically evaluate zoo design. Each year the trip is focused on a different set of zoos and students can take the course multiple times.


ABEC 403: Tropical Ecology in Ecuador

Travel to Ecuador over spring break to study tropical ecology in this 1 credit Spring course. Spend two days in the unique cloud forest ecosystem of the tropical Andes Mountains and five days at Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Amazon rainforest. Tiputini is situated in Yasuni National Park, a place that has been hailed as the most biodiverse habitat on the planet. It is possible to observe up to 10 species of monkey, tapirs, macaws, caiman, pink river dolphins, and a myriad of beetles and butterflies. The final day will be a visit to Cotopaxi Volcano and Paramo ecosystem. Coursework involves readings on tropical ecosystems, comparing and discussing readings to what is viewed first hand, learning from experts in the field, and conducting mini-research projects in Tiputini that will be written upon return to Canisius.


ABEC 404: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in South Africa

Rising seniors may also wish to apply for the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in South Africa trip (ABEC 404). Each summer, a select group of students travel to Lajuma Research Centre and Kruger National Park to gain valuable field research skills, study highland wildlife including habituated nonhuman primates, and gain an understanding of the cultural aspects of human-wildlife conflict. Upon returning to Canisius in the fall, students enroll in a 3-credit course.


ABEC 405: Field Studies in Political Ecology of Wildlife Conservation

This field course provides an in-depth look at the complex sociocultural and political aspects of wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability by immersing students in research, workshops, readings, and discussions with local community groups and conservation experts in Costa Rica. We will travel first to the capital of San Jose, where we will meet with professors working at the nearby University for Peace, to learn about some of the history around conservation, indigenous peoples, and sustainability in Costa Rica. We will also learn about current work being done at the national and local level in areas of environmental education and community advocacy. We will then travel to the small town of Santa Elena to spend five days engaged in wildlife tours, participating in education workshops, and hearing from guest speakers about re-wilding projects, river protection, sustainable farming, and new ecotourism programs. Finally, we will travel to the beautiful coastal town of Manuel Antonio to stay and volunteer with Kids Saving the Rainforest, a non-profit organization dedicated to wildlife rehabilitation, environmental education, and conservation of wildlife. We will work with the public in small research projects at Manuel Antonio National Park to learn about human-wildlife interactions there.