Now, not to be crass, but I’ll admit that this pretty much sums up my initial reaction when I heard the news that the Stanford Program in Earth Systems and the Departments of Anthropology and Biology were teaming up to institute a new off-campus academic opportunity for fall of 2010 in none other than the sunny, tropical Hawaiian islands. To clarify, my vulgarity was not motivated by dislike of the idea, but instead by deep disbelief that the world could be so cruel. For you see, I’ve already done my study abroad; I’ve already made that immoveable four year plan, now set in stone if I hope to graduate anytime soon; and while I had a great time at Oxford Program, when you compare trudging to the library in the freezing rain to climbing volcanoes and wading through the blue ocean in the warm sunshine, I can’t help feeling a little unfulfilled. The program in Hawaii sounds like a dream for anyone even remotely interested in ecology or conservation.
Twenty lucky undergraduate students will spend ten weeks on the islands: 8 weeks on the Big Island studying volcanoes, rain forests, and coral reefs, and 2 weeks on Kauai at a field research station, all the while receiving academic credit. The trip comes at the initiative of Peter Vitousek, a Stanford professor and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, who has in previous years organized research trips to Hawaii with small seminars of undergraduate students.
Students who are interested can attend an information session this Monday, Feb. 8 at 12:30 pm in Y2E2 and should email Max Borella (firstname.lastname@example.org) to RSVP. And as for me, I’m sure I’ll somehow recover from this blow, and if not…well, graduating in four years is overrated anyway (I mean, it’s Hawaii!)…