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India is a vast country with tremendous opportunities for investigating ecology and ways in which humans practice health care and interact with the environment. This fall semester program in India offers up to 10 biology and environmental studies students a chance to work on two independent research projects chosen among several sites in southern India. These projects are designed to contribute to the mission of the host agencies, NGOs and research teams. Possible topics will be in the areas of rural health care, leprosy, TB, vector-borne diseases, molecular biology, agriculture, elephant/wildlife ecology, mountain ecology, medicinal plants and sustainable development.
The program starts with a four-week study and orientation session in Chennai and a rural setting that exposes students to India and Indian life. These class sessions and field trips introduce India’s history, philosophy, religion, music, customs and current politics, as well as the practical matters of getting around and getting along in India. The program fulfills two biology electives, MCG and WRI requirements. Students may complete their two research papers upon return under the guidance of the biology faculty: these are graded by biology department faculty, forming the student’s grade for the course, and returned to the research site. A fourth independent study course is possible with permission of the program adviser and the appropriate department. Those students wanting environmental studies experiential or elective credit must request permission from the chair of environmental studies in writing.
This is a list of pre-approved GE credits. The program consists of
three St. Olaf credit (2 count in the GPA). An additional credit may
be earned through and Independent Study.