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Island Biogeography - Hawaii

Island Biogeography - Travel Study in the Hawaiian Islands

Island biogeography is the study of the distribution and dynamics of species in island environments. Due to their isolation from more widespread continental species, islands are ideal places for unique species to evolve, but they are also places of concentrated extinction. The Hawaiian Islands are the most distant island archipelago from any continental land mass on the planet. As such it is a critical biological hotspot and more than half of all organisms are endemic to this island group. Natural and anthropogenic disturbances are common to island groups, all of which face extinctions of endemic flora and fauna, growing populations of invasive species, and increasing human resident and tourist populations. This course will place the students within the terrestrial and aquatics ecotomes of these oceanic islands to experience island biogeographic principles firsthand. Prerequisites: MBIO 3800.

MBIO 3801: Island Biogeography Field Course (1 credit)
Instructor: Dr. Amy Hirons | (954) 262-7972

If you choose to enroll in the course, please follow these directions:

  • Register for the class with your academic advisor during open registration.
  • Submit payments using the Marketplace link to be provided following registration.
  • Complete all required pre-departure components of the course and as required by the Office of International Affairs.

Required Documents

  • Travel Study Application
  • Release of Liability Form
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Proof of Required Travel Insurance


May 21        Depart for Hilo International Airport

May 22        Travel to and hike Kilauea National Park

May 23        South Point to Papakolea - hike and snorkel

May 24        Punalu'u and Mahana B Honokaa and Waipio Valley / Kapoho tide pools

May 25        Kamilo Point - Garbage Patch 

May 26        Kealakekua Bay snorkeling trip

May 27        Mauna Kea astronomical observatory

May 28        Depart Kona for Lihui Intl Airport, Travel to Na Pali coast

May 29        Hike Napali coast to Hanakapi'ai

May 30        Hanalei Valley - Okolehae, Waipo

May 31        Travel to Waimea Canyon, Hike Kokee rainforest

June 1         Napali-Niihau snorkel trip

June 2         Hike Waimea Canyon / snorkel

June 3         Visit Kahaloe - Kapaa, Depart Lihui Int'l Airport

June 4         Arrive Fort Lauderdale Airport



• Deposit of $1,950 due by Friday, January 19, 2018
• Final payment of $1,950 due by January 29, 2018

All payments are nonrefundable. However, if the trip is cancelled, all payments made to the university will be refunded.

Not Included:
• Tuition and NSU fees related to this course
• Travel insurance (required)
• Medical insurance (required)
• Incidentals
• Gratuities

Travel study trips often require strenuous activity that may be difficult for some students. In many destinations, special accommodations are not available. If you may require special accommodations to participate in a travel study trip, please speak with the respective faculty member to determine whether or not you should enroll in this class.

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