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Our Mission

Round River is dedicated to conservation strategies that preserve and restore wild places; to that end, we strive to develop and support traditions that sustain wildness. These efforts are anchored in the principles of conservation biology, supported by field research and community planning.

“Natural objects have a concrete reality that the abstractions of textbooks and lectures do not and cannot have…”

– David Orr

Round River semester and summer student study abroad programs are entirely field-based, authentic experiences that offer the opportunity for small groups of students to contribute to actual conservation efforts in big, wild landscapes. And while students earn college credit in an Environmental Studies-based curriculum, nothing is done solely for academic reasons. We are not about show and tell. Students from diverse backgrounds from the sciences to Humanities study and work hard to immerse themselves in the ecology and culture of a place. Round River is entrenched in the places we work, dedicated to fulfill obligations to our friends and local colleagues. While on a program our students become part of this effort, and work alongside Round River researchers and instructors and members of our local partners.

We blessedly live on a planet that is diverse in life; a world of salmon rivers and cloud forests and red rock deserts. A lot of us know about these creatures and places having fed our curiosities in school, but few of us get to go out and do things like investigating foraging habits of Spectacled Bears and surveying unstudied frogs for three months in the high Andes. That is what we do: Put our faith in the belief that exposing curious, adventurous, and enthusiastic students to good work in wild places will benefit all of our futures.

Round River believes landscapes are powerful educators. Our student programs are designed to involve small groups of students with inspiring people and actual research projects that are finding and implementing solutions to real conservation issues. The student programs contribute significantly to the larger conservation initiatives of Round River and our local partners.