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Hawai'i: Island Science

Hawai'i: Island Science

  • Hawai'i, USA: July 29 - August 19, 2017 (3 weeks)
  • TRAVL-UG 9050 | 4 credits | Instructor: Matthew Stanley (NYU Gallatin)
  • LEVEL: Undergraduate, NYU and non-NYU students
  • TOPICS: Physical & social sciences (geology, ecology, astronomy, anthropology, and more)

Info Session

Meet Prof. Stanley and learn more about the course! Location: 1 Washington Pl. (Gallatin Building)

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 ~ 12:30pm–1:30pm ~ Room 601

rainbow over grassy mountains next to ocean

Islands play a special role in a variety of scientific disciplines, both as privileged sites of experimentation and as unique objects of study. Islands are places where we can see into Earth's interior, into the depths of the ocean, and into the distant past. They have also been key locations for understanding human societies and building empires in the formerly unreachable.

Hawai'i has a number of unusual natural and cultural features that make it a particularly fruitful location for this kind of pursuit. A single island can have rain forests, an active volcano, ecological restoration projects, coral reefs, and the world’s best telescopes. It is home to huge numbers of endangered species, but also the site of innovative projects for creating sustainable environment.  Its indigenous culture still retains a robust presence, providing a way to study how cultures develop in isolation and how they change with outside exposure.

This interdisciplinary science course will explore the Hawaiian islands through the perspective of several scientific disciplines including geology, ecology, ornithology, marine biology, and astronomy, as well as anthropology and archeology.

Classes will be held in the classroom and in the field, where we will be guided by working scientists. Our site visits will include Hawai'i's tropical rainforests; the Kapoho tide pools; currently active volcanoes such as Mauna Loa; and Mauna Kea's peak, host to one of the world's foremost observatories for cosmology, where students will see cosmologists in action and discuss the role of metaphors in science.

Gallatin students: This course fulfills 4 credits of the Interdisciplinary Seminar as well as the Math or Science requirement.


  • Undergraduate students of all NYU and non-NYU schools
  • Must have completed at least one full-time college semester before the course begins
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA, good academic & disciplinary standing
  • Must be matriculated at a college or university during the Summer 2017 term


  • Tuition, 4 credits: $3550
  • NYU Registration & Services Fee: $668
  • Program Fee: $850*
  • Housing: $1350

*Program fee includes mandatory excursions, some meals, and mandatory international health insurance, which is provided for the program duration.

IMPORTANT: the program fee becomes nonrefundable after students confirm participation in the course. Course tuition, the program fee, and other fees above are due typically by early May, according to NYU's summer billing cycle.

Other Major Costs to Consider:

  • Round-trip airfare (students purchase their own tickets and are responsible for their own accommodation for travel beyond the program dates); students will be notified when to book flights
  • Most meals and local transportation

Financial Aid

The Gallatin Dean's Scholarship is available for this program. See our Financial Aid for Study Away page for details on eligibility and additional opportunities.

Important Travel Details

Health Note: This course includes some rigorous physical activity, such as hiking and potentially spending some time in high-altitude areas. Students with physical mobiltiy or health concerns should contact Gallatin's Office of Global Programs for more information and consult with their doctor.

Housing: Students are required to reside in accommodations arranged by NYU Gallatin.

Travel Documents: All program participants are required to have either a US driver's license, US state ID, or a valid passport. These documents should be obtained well in advance of the program start date.

Helpful LinksLonely Planet Hawaii

Contact Info

NYU Gallatin Office of Global Programs
411 Lafayette St., 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003
1 (212) 998-7133 phone
1 (212) 995-4265 fax

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