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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Australia Biology

Semester: Spring
Offered: Every three years
Upcoming: Spring 2021, Spring 2024
Estimated Dates: Mid-January to late April
Program Focus: Regional Area Study with Biology Emphasis
Prerequisites: BIO 110, 201, and 202, or equivalents (click here for more information on prerequisites during transition from Bio 141, 151, and 200 to the new curriculum).
Housing: Varies throughout the program

Spring 2018
Program Leader:

Spring 2021 Program Leader:

Greta Binford
Associate Professor of Biology
binford@lclark.edu, 503-768-7653

Tamily Weissman-Unni
Associate Professor of Biology
weissman@lclark.edu, 503-768-7994

Program Design

The four courses in this program adopt an interdisciplinary approach with focus on practical learning through excursions and field studies. The courses are not independent units, but rather each is interdependent on material covered in other courses, particularly for the International Studies credits. All attempts will be made to help you integrate material across courses.

Your Australian study experience will be guided throughout by your Lewis & Clark faculty leader, Global Education Designs’ program managers and more than thirty specialists -drawn from universities, community organizations and public service bodies in Australia — who contribute to the program by sharing their expertise with you. They will be contributing to your formal learning experiences in Australia, but you will also have many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. By visiting some of Australia’s most beautiful places and interacting with a range of people with different customs and perhaps unfamiliar lifestyles, you will have the chance to further develop your cross-cultural skills and expand your view of the world in general.

The program is designed specifically for majors in Biology and BCMB. In addition to two courses that fulfill international studies general education credit, the program includes two upper division biology courses, Biogeography (4 credits), and Venom Biology (with lab, 5 credits). Both courses will count as electives for Biology, and the Venom Biology course qualifies as an elective biology course for BCMB majors. 

About the Program Leader:

Tamily Weissman-Unni joined the faculty of Lewis & Clark College in 2011 and is an Associate Professor of Biology and Co-Chair of the Neuroscience Program. She received her PhD in Neurobiology at Columbia University, and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at Harvard University. She teaches courses in genetics, molecular and cellular biology, and neuroscience, and her research program focuses on brain development and disease. She runs a research lab on campus that uses microscopy approaches to visualize the living brain and nervous system in the zebrafish model organism. She has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles with undergraduate students, who make significant contributions to the ongoing research in the lab. She has also written a recent online Scientific American article that explains how zebrafish research contributes to our understanding of human medicine. In her free time, she enjoys running, biking, music, and other outdoor and indoor adventures.

Academics

Requirements Fulfilled: IS 290 and IS 292 fulfill the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement. BIO 407 fulfills the Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning Category A general education requirement. BIO 393 and BIO 407 may be applied to the Biology major.

Credits: 17 credits (4 courses)

Curriculum:

IS 290: Area Study: Australia (4 credits)

Traces the major developments in Australia’s history from its initial settlement by the aboriginal people through European colonization and into the present. Emphasis is on the events that played a major role in shaping contemporary Australian society and Australia’s current relationships with East Asia, the United States, and the British Commonwealth. Topics include Australian literature, non-indigenous art, exploration and settlement, military history, and political and social institutions.

IS 292: Indigenous Studies (4 credits)

Investigations of the evolution of human society in Australia, focusing on cultural diversity among indigenous peoples, social organization, ceremonies and art, spiritual life, material culture, gender roles, and relationship to the land. 

BIO 393: Biogeography (4 credits)

Field centered study of patterns of species diversity in the context of their geological and evolutionary history. The focus will include terrestrial and marine organisms spanning many regions on the Australian continent and Tasmania. Experts on geological history, ecological regions, and particularly interesting lineages will guest lecture.

BIO 407: Venom Biology (5 credits)*

Integrative analyses of venoms of Australian animals including field collection, venom collection (by experts, not students), molecular and biochemical analyses of venom components, and assays of activity. Expert Australian venom biologists will guest lecture.

*Please note that the Venom Biology course will change for the Spring 2021 program. It will be replaced with an upper-division Biology course with a neuroscience focus, taught by Tamily Weissman-Unni.

Cost

2019-2020 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition, Program Fee, and Health & Wellness Fee): $33,517

Tuition: $26,173

Program Fee: $7,307

Health & Wellness Fee: $37**

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. 

*Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

**The Health & Wellness Fee supports the operations of Wellness Services staff in delivering pre-program orientation services, as well as in providing health-related consultation regarding participant health needs. All students in the College of Arts and Sciences pay a mandatory fee of $37 per semester.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to SYD): $1,500 - $2,000

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,350.50

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: Applications are due one year before the start of the program.

Visa: Students will be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to Australia.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s Australia page.

Australia Bio