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Cambodia: Conservation, Ethics and Environmental Change (SFS)


Todd Heidt

Director, Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Students in the School for Field Studies (SFS) Cambodia: Conservation, Ethics and Environmental Change program learn about the complexity of Cambodia's struggle to balance biodiversity, development, and human needs. Through coursework, field excursions, and directed research, students focus on conservation, environmental ethics, and rural livelihoods by studying the interface between livelihoods and the environment, assessing biodiversity and ecology, and gaining an understanding of natural resource use and governance.

The program has a particular emphasis on qualitative field research methods. Students experience immersion in this form of research through meeting and interviewing a wide variety of villagers and the members of various local and international conservation and development organizations. The greater Siem Reap region provides many riverine and terrestrial habitats to explore. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat serves as a backdrop for understanding Cambodian culture and a regionally distinctive religious pluralism, blending Buddhist, Animist and Hindu beliefs. Students learn how Buddhism has directed societal norms and principles regarding environmental protection. In addition, students explore a variety of regional development and conservation challenges and community-based solutions during travel across rural and urban Cambodia. Students visit key conservation sites along the Mekong River, gain appreciation for Cambodia's complex recent history in Phnom Penh, and discover coastal ecosystems and development pressures in Kampot Province.

The program also travels overland to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, where students experience contrasting political, social, and economic systems. Key environmental issues at the heart of the program include climate change and adaptation, water resource use, and agricultural development.

Learn more about the SFS Cambodia: Conservation, Ethics and Environmental Change program.

Credits: 4.5 Knox credits for successful completion of the fall or spring semester.

Advisor: Professor Katherine Adelsberger

Click here for more information about the application process, program selection, and more!

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Printed on Monday, May 23, 2022