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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: St. John, Virgin Islands, United States;
  • Program Terms: Spring Break
  • Budget Sheets: Spring Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:
Natural Resource Service Learning in the US Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands

Program Description:
This service learning trip to the US Virgin Islands will help the National Park Service vegetation management issues on the islands of St.Johns. We will work with the volunteer coordinators of both the National Park and the Friends of the National Park. We will work with various interest groups on plant restoration, agroforestry and wildlife monitoring projects on the island. We will be joined by Louis Hilgermann a former ISU student who is now the Forest Stewardship coordinator for the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture. The work he is presently doing focuses on natural resource conservation and restoration. In addition to the work the students will be doing we will study the native vegetation and wildlife on the interior and the coastal areas of the islands with a focus on invasive plants and animals and the impact of human activity on the natural environment.

Trip focus: 
•Experience the flora & fauna of tropical rain forests, upland dry sites, & coastal beaches all on one island!
•Assist with invasive species removal & native plant restoration!
•Work in a National Park creating trails & monitoring native wildlife!
•Work with local communities & schools!
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Course Information: NREM 496A, 2 credits; Meeting times: to be arranged (1 hour/week orientation class

Criteria for Selection:  Short interview before acceptance. Applicants must be able to hike three to four miles daily.  Rough, high altitude terrain will be encountered during most days of the trip.  Applicants must be willing to travel without modern conveniences including limited or no access to internet connectivity.  Must demonstrate experience and/or willingness to work as a team in field conditions. Program will be open to all CALS students but preference will be given to qualified NREM students who demonstrate an interest in natural resource conservation and management.

Approximate program fee: Approximately $3,300 (included round trip airline ticket; transportation; most meals; food; lodging; entrance fees; CISI insurance).
Out of pocket expenses estimated: $300 for incidentals, $105 study abroad center admin fee, $135 passport if you don't have one yet*
CALS students who are first time int'l travelers should contact to see how you can get the cost of your passport reimbursed.

Program Leaders: Dr. Julie Blanchong (, Dr. Dick Schultz (

Important Note Regarding Missing classes: Please note that participation on some travel courses require you to be away from campus for some school days. The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences tries to minimize the number of days missed for this purpose, but in some events, the inflexibility of the travel schedule prevents us from working completely within our breaks. Should you choose to enroll in a travel course that requires missing some class(es) on campus, you will need to contact your instructor directly to inquire whether or not arrangements can be made to make up this class work and/or exams. The CALS Study Abroad office can provide you with a letter explaining the dates of the trip. However, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor to determine the potential impact on your grade before signing up for a Study Abroad program. The instructor is responsible for determining the impact of any absence from class.


This program is currently not accepting applications.