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Pandemic Update: For updates on the current status of each opportunity, please contact the Advisor listed, or for courses, check the linked Class Roster page.


Minimum GPA: 3.00

Terms and Dates:

  • Fall 2019
  • Spring 2020
  • Fall 2020
  • Spring 2021


Alayne Prine

Cornell Affiliations:

Global Learning

Off-campus partner:



Opportunity Description

EcoQuest semester programs provide an exciting opportunity to be part of a vibrant learning community for 15 weeks and to be involved in local research. Students will experience living and working closely with a dynamic team of peers, faculty and staff. Our established network of scientists, policy makers, planners, resource managers, and community members throughout New Zealand provides for buoyant learning and interactions in the framework of the program.

What is unique about this program?

EcoQuest students, from a diversity of disciplines, are immersed in a rigorous field-based program with a focus on practical skills and conceptual thinking, and opportunities to contribute to local conservation and resource management initiatives. Each semester, our team will explore terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems at a variety of locations in New Zealand and examine the unique natural history and environmental impacts first-hand.

Three courses are tied together through lectures and field exercises (up to 15 per semester). You will learn about the forces and influences (geological and cultural) that shaped New Zealand as we know it today, and gain an understanding of topical resource management issues (from restoration ecology to extractive industries). We build on this knowledge with field exercises and field investigations in a variety of settings.

Directed Research Projects provide students with the opportunity to work in small teams (4-6 students) to study individual aspects of larger ecology and resource management issues. Projects can focus on terrestrial, fresh water, or coastal and marine environments and resource management issues. All projects offered have both scientific and societal relevance. The outcomes and findings of projects can therefore contribute to 'real-time' research and management.

What is unique about New Zealand?

New Zealand provides an ideal context for multi-faceted studies in ecology: the unique geology and ecosystem diversity make for a natural laboratory, superbly suited to applied field studies. Along with rich cultural traditions and innovative policy, New Zealand has considerable commitment to – and lively debate on - sustainable management of natural resources at several levels of government. Program delivery sites may vary among semesters, but the core curriculum / course content is fixed.

How do I choose among programs?

  • See the Office of Global Learning’s “Selecting a Program” page for information on program types and considerations
  • Use the search features on the Experience Cornell  Opportunities page to filter for programs approved by your college, and by particular subject areas
  • Go to the “Get Advice” page for information on drop-in advising hours, scheduling an advising appointment, returned student contacts, and college advisors for study abroad
  • Find out about upcoming events, check out FAQs, and read stories from returned study abroad students

How do I apply?

Applying to study abroad is a two-step process. You may complete both steps simultaneously, but the Cornell approval process must be complete before your program advisor in the Office of Global Learning can submit any approval or nomination to the program.

  1. For Cornell Approval, click on the "Apply" button on this webpage. Applications are approved by the Office of Global Learning on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this page.
  2. For Program Admission, complete an external application directly on the program’s webpage, using the link in the “Snapshot” section. (Note: This deadline may be in advance of the general Cornell deadline for approval. Many programs fill by rolling admission.)