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  • Students visit a Himba village, Namibia

    Students visit a Himba village, Namibia

  • Spruce Mtn spotting scope

    Students scan for wildlife in northern British Columbia

  • Botswana camp

    Students at camp, Botswana

  • Nakina trail, British Columbia

    Students take a break on the traditional Tlingit trail, British Columbia

Who We Are & What We Do

Round River Study Abroad Programs

Round River Conservation Studies is a non-profit organization focused on international conservation research and education.  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.

What you can expect to experience on a Round River program:

Working with local people

We understand that people living in the areas we work are the long-term stewards of that landscape.  Round River forms partnerships with local people and organizations in order to provide scientific expertise and help form conservation strategies that work in accordance with that community’s environmental values.  As a student you will work and interact with these people, and not only get first hand experience with their culture, but also be exposed to the complexities of achieving conservation objectives in communities with diverse needs and interests.

Field Research

Ultimately, these programs are about getting your hands dirty, and offering you the satisfaction of knowing that the projects you are working on are contributing to actual conservation initiatives.  You will gain field skills and learn how to design research studies.  Round River feels that it is essential that anyone interested in conservation and the environment, whether in science or the Humanities, get out and walk on the land.  We strive to attract students from all backgrounds from Biology to English majors.

Academic Credit:

On our semester programs you will take 5 courses and receive 15 semester hours of college credit, which is accredited through Utah State University.  The summer program offers 3 courses for 9 semester hours of credit.  Lectures are offered by our instructors and researchers or local experts, and are as likely to take place around the campfire in the evening as at one of the research stations.  During the program you will work with other participants, instructors, and researchers to ultimately compile and analyze the data you have collected, produce a scientific, written report, and present your findings to our local partner.

Why Round River is different:

Round River is more than just an outdoor classroom, and students quickly realize they are part of something dynamic.  People may come with the simple expectation that they will be better prepared for graduate school by doing fieldwork, and after walking and working in a place like the deserts of Namibia find the inspiration for what they want their education and lives to be.  Some of our students have participated in similar programs, and offer that being part of a group that is only 5 to 8 people allowed them to see more, do more, and know that their input was needed and appreciated.  Some of our students come back to do two or even all three of our programs.  They revel in the flexibility to explore opportunities such as spending the day at a Tlingit grave house recording the oral history of a Taku River Tlingit elder or monitoring wildlife in the deserts of Namibia or the Okavango Delta of Botswana.




The Secret Life of the Nakina