Did You Know . . . ?

Grape Hyacinth

. . . that the common grape hyacinth, Muscari botryoides, seen in many southern Maryland gardens is not native to the United States.

Painting by Sarah Claggett '08

St. Mary's Project Spotlight

A St. Mary's County Almanac

“The first lines of the foreword in A Sand County Almanac read, ‘There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.’ In a way, I think this is Aldo Leopold confessing that ultimately he writes for himself, to reconnect with the wild things that inspire him. Leopold’s book inspired this group of twelve essays, which were written with the explicit goal of learning from this county, this river. What I have found is that at the root of human nature are all the things that exist around it.”
Dana Christianson


Study Abroad

ICADS Costa Rica Semester | India | Easter Island | The Gambia

In today's world, it is impossible to ignore the global nature of environmental problems. Many environmental matters cross national borders, which creates a pressing need to understand how this impacts societies, governments, economies, and the natural world. As individuals and a culture, we can learn from the practices and philosophies of others. The most powerful way to teach students about the global nature of environmental problems is to help them experience it firsthand. When studying abroad, students enrich their environmental education and their lives by establishing relationships, sharing ideas, and considering the natural world from a global point of view.

St. Mary's offers several study abroad opportunities for students interested in Environmental Studies. Keeping with our interdisciplinary aim, these study abroad tours and programs merge social, scientific, and aesthetic disciplines with environmental awareness. They range from 2-3 week study tours to semester-long experiences, and additional programs are crosslisted, providing students with credits in other disciplines such as anthropology, religious studies, and international languages and cultures.

Below you will find information concerning selected study abroad opportunities offered by St. Mary's College of Maryland that are related to environmental studies but students may also explore programs that are unaffiliated with the college yet provide transferable credits. For information about other opportunities, students should contact the international education office on campus.

ICADS - Costa Rica Semester

Garden in Costa RicaFor field research, internships, and in-depth environmental issues study, students can spend four months in Costa Rica through the Institute for Central American Development Studies (ICADS). In conjunction with the International Languages and Cultures department at St. Mary's, students who are learning Spanish can apply to attend ICADS in Costa Rica. Students spend the first month developing proficiency with Spanish through immersion, then study or intern in environmental fields such as sustainable development, eco-tourism, and organic farming. For more information about the ICADS program, please contact the International Languages and Cultures department or visit the ICADS website at www.icads.org.


Photo by Scott SaterAs much a trek as it is a pilgrimage, this northern India odyssey takes students into the Himalayan range. Traveling along narrow mountain roads and finally onto narrow mountain trails, trekkers are introduced to the spiritual experience and physical hardships of Hindu pilgrims, for whom there is little, if any, separation between humans and nature. To learn more, contact Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Dan Meckel.

Easter Island

Photo by Danny SchindellTraveling to the middle of the Pacific Ocean with professors from the Anthropology Department, students study not only human culture but the relationship between humans, culture, and nature. As part of the learning on this study tour, students first undergo Leave No Trace training, during which they learn to control their impact on the environment. For details, contact Professors Dan Ingersoll and Kate Meatyard in Anthropology.

The Gambia

Photo by Zack BoozOffered by anthropology professor Bill Roberts, this program aims to increase participants' understanding of and appreciation for the contributions of African civilizations to global society and culture. This six-week summer field study program to The Gambia and Senegal provides participants with the opportunity to observe first-hand such African institutions as the family, religion, economy, science, and expressive arts. Participants take lessons in local African languages (Wolof) and then select a short-term research project (with the assistance of faculty). For specific information, see the office of International Education's page on The Gambia.

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