ABEC 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.

Here are the travel options for 2017-2018 and beyond. Note, however, that the details presented here remain subject to change as plans develop. We hope that all ABEC students will be able to participate in one or more of these wonderful learning opportunities. 

ABEC 351: Zoo Exhibitry
Students interested in working in zoos, can register for Zoo Exhibitry (ABEC 351), a one-credit course, usually each fall. Students enrolled in this course travel to numerous zoos during fall break or over several weekends 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. Costs vary, but are generally between $250 and $350 per student. 2017: A Child’s Eye View of Zoos. September 16/17: Brookfield Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium. September 30/October 1: Detroit Zoo, Toledo Zoo. 

Important details:
Destination:  Five zoos, 4 days, locations vary
When:  Fall semester, usually, but not always, during fall break (plus required 1 credit course and 4-5 class meetings)
What: Study of zoo exhibit design in practice
Sponsor/Mentor: ABEC/Margulis
Participation:  Any student who has completed ABEC101/102 may register for this course. Usually 40 seats. 
Cost Per Person: $250-$350 (estimated, includes zoo admission, transportation, and accommodations)
Deadline to apply/deposit: Register during spring semester as part of normal registration process. Deposit due upon registration; payment in full due before the end of spring semester.

ABEC 403: Tropical Ecology in Ecuador
Travel to Ecuador over spring break to study tropical ecology in this 1 credit spring course. We will spend a week at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in the Amazon rainforest. Tiputini is in Yasuni National Park, a place that has been hailed as the most biodiverse spot on the planet. In Tiputini, you could see up to 10 species of monkey, tapirs, macaws, caiman, pink river dolphins, and a myriad of beetles and butterflies, to name a few. At the beginning or end, depening on plane schedules, we will have one day to visit old town Quito to learn more about Ecuadorian culture. For the course, we will read about tropical ecosystems, compare readings to first hand experiences, learn from experts in the field, and conduct mini-research projects in Tiputini.

NOTE: This trip will run during spring break in odd-numbered years!
Sponsor/Mentor: ABEC/Cornelisse

ABEC 404: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in South Africa
This capstone course is open to students who will be seniors in Fall 2018. This experience will provide you with training in field methods for wildlife ecology and behavior by immersing you in a research experience. We will be traveling to South Africa, where we will stay at the Lajuma Research Centre. We will be living and working together for almost 3 weeks, hiking in the Soutpansberg Mountains. Days will be spent following habituated monkeys, maintaining camera traps, working with the Small Mammal Research Team from the University of Venda, the resident research staff at Lajuma, and the students and research assistants of the Primate and Predator Project. We will travel to Kruger National Park for several days during the trip, and will hike to and stay at Leshiba Wilderness (home to rare white rhinos and other wildlife). Students register for the course during Fall 2018, and complete research projects initiated in South Africa. Readings will cover topics including behavior and ecology of samango monkeys, human-wildlife conflict, and South African history and culture. The people, landscapes, and wildlife are spectacular.

Important details:
Destination:  Lajuma Research Centre and Kruger Nat’l Park (South Africa)
When:  20 May to 11 June 2018 (plus required 3-credit course in the fall) (Please note: dates are approximate, and may shift by 1-2 days)
What: Field study of monkeys, and other highland wildlife endemic to the hill regions of South Africa.  Kruger National Park and Leshiba Wilderness for observations of additional wildlife species endemic to scrubland habitat. Part of three-credit capstone course to be completed during Fall 2018 semester. 
Sponsor/Mentor: ABEC/Margulis
Participation:  Participation is limited to eight students.  Seats competitively awarded.  
Cost Per Person: $3,800 (estimated, food included)
Deadline to apply/deposit: Applications due November 17, 2017; deposit due December 15, 2017.

ABEC 405: Field Studies in Political Ecology & 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.  


Important Details:
Destination:  Various locations in Costa Rica
When:  Summer 2018 (15 days) plus 3-credit course in Fall 2018
What:  Cultural and political ecologies of conservation, ecotourism, sustainability in Costa Rica
Sponsor/Mentor:  ABEC/Russell
Cost Per Person:  $2,500 (estimated, food included)
Deadline to Apply/Deposit:  Applications due February 1 2018; Deposit due March 15 2018.

ABEC 490: 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, make presentations at local schools, develop pro-conservation web pages, and produce pro-conservation videos. Learn more about Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation.

Travel plans for 2017-18 have not been finalized, so please check back for updates!
Sponsor/Mentor:  ABEC/Noonan