High-impact learning happens when students are actively engaged in the educational process and their experience expands beyond the classroom and is applied in their personal and work lives. High-impact learning provides hands-on experience and the ability to work closely in a diverse setting. Students engaged in high-impact learning often see improvement in grade point averages and are more involved in their education. Opportunities include:
- Education abroad
- Undergraduate research
- Course field trips
- Learning communities
- Collaborative projects
- Diversity/global learning
- Honors programs
ECCB offers several faculty-led Education Abroad programs where students travel to the Caribbean, Amazon, and South Africa to engage in exciting exploration adventures and experience other cultures and environments. ECCB also works with outside organizations to provide internship opportunities for students. Faculty have opportunities for outstanding students to conduct undergraduate research for course credit.
Caribbean Tropical and Field Biology
Each year from late May to mid-June, students travel to Trinidad and Tobago with instructors for a faculty-led Education Abroad to conduct field research and complete class projects. Individual and group research projects include, but are by no means restricted to, forensic entomology, host-parasite studies, basic ecology, and general biodiversity surveys. Students design projects, collect data, analyze results, and prepare a professional research paper. Throughout the program, students participate in numerous hikes and other outdoor activities (some of which can be challenging) that introduce students to the diverse tropical flora and fauna of the Caribbean. For more information, visit trinidad.tamu.edu or abroad.tamu.edu.
Amazon River Tropical Biology
Late December until early January each year instructors lead an Education Abroad trip to the Amazon River addressing the ecology, geography, and culture of the Amazon River and Rio Negro, the huge black-water tributary that joins the Amazon near the city of Manaus. Students explore the world’s most bio-diverse region during a 10-day, boat-based expedition that embarks from Manaus, Brazil. The group experience forests, rivers, plants, animals, agricultural practices, and living conditions in remote villages. During the following spring semester, the students research topics based on their field trip for presentation during weekly sessions. For more information, visit abroad.tamu.edu.
South Africa Biodiversity Conservation and Ecotourism: Vertebrate Natural History Focus
During winter break in odd years, participants should be interested in learning about vertebrate natural history and approaches to the conservation of natural resources in a developing country. These objectives will provide students with first-hand experience of a wide range of ecological, economic, and social factors influencing the effectiveness of conservation in South Africa and provide students with a field experience in vertebrate natural history in a developing country. Students will be exposed to unique biodiversity hotspots and vertebrate communities unlike anywhere else in the world. This Education Abroad satisfies one writing-intensive requirement. For more information, visit abroad.tamu.edu.
South Africa Biodiversity Conservation and Ecotourism: Diversity and Ecotourism Focus
In summer late May to late June, students travel to South Africa with instructors for a faculty-led Education Abroad in biodiversity conservation and ecotourism. The overarching goal of this Education Abroad is to explore that diversity in all its forms and to gain an understanding of how diversity underpins the country’s ecotourism industry, one of its most important foreign currency earning sectors. During the month-long course, students will visit numerous parts of the country ranging from the Cradle of Humankind to the Indian Ocean coastline and the world-famous five million-acre Kruger National Park, where they will experience the stunning wildlife in safari-style vehicles and on foot. For more information, visit abroad.tamu.edu.