Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management

"I loved the program’s emphasis on field research. We traveled everywhere and researched a variety of topics in completely different ecosystems. One week our group performed a botanical inventory of a section of spiny forest in the Andohahela National Park. Later we traveled to Ifotaka National Park and studied lemur behavior and habitat. Our field studies unit was a great way to see the country and learn about what makes each region unique."

-- Kate Wright, DePauw University

Explore environmental challenges, conservation, and development strategies in Madagascar, an island nation isolated from neighboring landmasses for more than one hundred million years.

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Madagascar’s unique evolutionary path has produced immeasurable contributions to the world’s biodiversity —more than 80 percent of the flora and fauna in Madagascar are endemic.

This program offers classroom and field-based instruction in natural and social scientific methods to encourage students to analyze environmental issues in an array of ecosystems — including rainforest, dry spiny thicket, alpine and transitional forest, savannah, gallery and littoral forest, mangrove, and coral reef — and within multiple economic, socio-political, and cultural contexts.

Coursework in French and Malagasy, combined with a homestay, a village stay, and numerous excursions to national parks and other protected areas, offer students a balanced social- and natural-science perspective on long-term conservation and the development needs of local populations. Students also spend a couple of weeks doing research with Malagasy students.

In-country resources and program partners generally include:

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research


Costs Dates



Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Fort Dauphin (Tolagnaro)

Language Study: French,  Malagasy

Prerequisites: Coursework in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields; 3 semesters college-level French Read more...

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)


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