Please see the Program Schedule page for a detailed 2016 itinerary.
The Duke University Global Education Office for Undergraduates and the Department of Biology will offer a 4-week, one course summer program focusing on the biogeography and culture of Australia. The program travels to Darwin in the Northern Territory, the Blue Mountains and Sydney in new South Wales, as well as the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rain forest of northern Queensland. The 2017 summer program director and Earth & Oceans Science course instructor is Dr. Rytas Vilgalys of Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.
Australia is an ancient world. Its geological record goes back to the very dawn of time, harboring evidence of the oldest crust on Earth, the origin of life itself, and the very first animal communities. Human memories also run deep in the Land Down Under. The Australian Aboriginal Peoples arguably represent the longest continuous human society on planet Earth, going back at least 40,000 years. Due to this unique geological and human history, Australia preserves perhaps the single-most unique ecosystem and diversity of plants and animals of any continent. Australia is thus an ideal place to develop an understanding of why fauna and flora around the world are different from place to place and, on the other hand, why plants or animals separated by great distances may be closely related. Australia has been both evolutionary forge and conservator.
Majestic landscapes from picturesque beaches, deserts, rainforest and coral reef form a spectacular backdrop for this immersive course experience.
For more details on the program visit the official 2016 Biology 288A Biogeography in Australia course website at sites.duke.edu/dukeinaustralia2016
To learn more about the program from a student perspective, please see the 2015 Duke student blog:
Earlier student blogs are also available at: