Biological Sciences

Summer Field Programs


Experience the exciting and unique island continent of Australia with enthusiastic and knowledgeable professors and students from Florida Tech and beyond. Florida Tech's summer program in Australia will take you deep into a world you may have only imagined -- a world of rainforests and coral reefs, of modern cities and ancient aboriginal encampments.

Students earn 6 semester hours of college credit studying marine and terrestrial biology, ecology and evolution while traveling through some of the most beautiful and unique areas of the world.

Your classrooms will be the Great Barrier Reef, the Kakadu National Park rainforest, the Atherton Tablelands, real Australian Outback. Dive gear and hiking shoes are your tickets to an outstanding educational experience and a lifetime of memories.

A Taste of the program

Jet-lag decompression during four days in Sydney will allow us begin our exposure to the unique Australian biota through tours and lectures in the botanical gardens, aquarium, natural history museums and other sites of this delightful city. We then fly north, first to the fantastic marine station at Lizard Island, on the edge of the Coral Sea for a week of intense marine biology and ecology that includes numerous lectures, field exercises and student-run research projects.

After returning to the mainland, we'll spend time in the Daintree Rainforest studying tropical ecology in this ancient rainforest ecosystem - lawyer vines, "vicious hairy mary" and strangler figs dominate the vegetation, and we'll see wildlife ranging from thousands of flying foxes to crocodiles to nocturnal marsupials. If we're lucky, we'll come face-to-face with the endangered cassowary, as our students did in 2001. We'll then travel west of the Atherton Tablelands to examine the dry terrestrial ecosystems and their unique flora and fauna.

Finally, we'll travel to Darwin and embark on a 6-day camping trip into the Kakadu National Forest, starting off with a series of geology, biology and ecology lectures and field walks with researchers at the regional CSIRO laboratory. Heading deep into the Kakadu, we'll have the opportunity to examine the savanna and eucalypt forests of this amazing ecosystems.

Included will be a trip into the restricted territory of Arnhemland to meet aborigine guides who will introduce us to their ancient history and rock paintings and their coevolution with the changing environment.