Program Title:
Building Ecotourism and Conservation Resources in Fiji

Program Location:
University of the South Pacific / South Australian Museum / Nature Fiji

Program Overview:
A collaboration between Flinders University, UniSA, the South Australian Museum and the University of South Pacific. Students will embark on a 14-day journey throughout Vita Levu, Fiji to look at insects, plants and ecosystem services. Students will participate in on-the-ground research training in Fiji, where they will help to build biodiversity resource packages that can be used to inform conservation strategies as well as increase the ecotourism experience of visitors to Fiji.

Students will survey a wide range of habitats in Fiji, document native plants, butterflies and bees whilst assessing their conservation status. Whilst students develop this extensive database over the life of the project, they will also create a photographic repository base that will be used to create a free identification and field guide App that can be used by teachers, students, NGOs, ecotourists and ecotourism providers to enhance the understanding of Fijian biodiversity.

Program Dates:
April 2020 (semester break) exact dates TBA

Places Available:
Up to 18 funded places with the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant.

Eligibility:
Priority will be given to 3rd year students studying biology topics. However, eligible students will come from a range of academic programs, ranging from Environmental Management, Environmental Science, Science communication and IT. Students will be required to have 4.5 units of topic space in their program and be eligible to enrol into topic STEM7002.

  • Australian citizens
  • Undergraduate students or Honours students
  • Successful completion of 36 units with a GPA of 4.5 or higher in a current degree
  • Students will be required to attend compulsory workshops prior to departure.

Credit:
On successful completion of the project, students may be eligible to receive 4.5 units of credit

Costs:

  • A total of up to 18 x $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility grants are available to support eligible participants with costs. In addition, students may also be eligible to apply for an OS Help Loan.
  • Students are responsible for additional expenses such as an application for a passport, visa, vaccination, additional meals, extra activities and transport and personal expenses.

Travel Information:
(Self-catered shared apartments and village homestays) with some meals provided Return airfares between Adelaide and Fiji. Students are eligible to register with Flinders travel insurance, which is provided free of charge.

How to Apply:

  1. Students who do not have STEM7002 as an available topic within their degree should submit an online enquiry via Ask Flinders (click “Request Support”) and have their study plan checked by College before applying. If approved by College, submit an EOI as outlined below.

Please ask the following question in your enquiry:

  • Do I have a 4.5-unit topic that I can use to participate in the NCP ‘Building Ecotourism and Conservation Resources in Fiji’ program?
  • Once confirmed that you have space in your program, submit an Expression of Interest to michael.schwarz@flinders.edu.au by 5pm Tuesday, 15 October 2019.

2. Students that have STEM7002 as an available topic should submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Your EOI should include the following:

  • Personal information, as requested in EOI document.
  • Unofficial transcript (download one from the Student Systems)
  • A short half-page statement in response to the following questions:

1. Why do you want to be involved in this project, and what unique contribution would you make to the team?

2. What experience do you have with collaboration in the context of South Pacific-Australia relations?

Application Deadline:
Submit your EOI (inc. attachments) to michael.schwarz@flinders.edu.au by 5pm Tuesday 15 October 2019.

*Note
A reasonable level of fitness will be required to work in highland areas for extended periods of time during the heat of the day.

Further Information:
Associate Professor: Michael Schwarz
College of Science and Engineering
Email: michael.schwarz@flinders.edu.au
Phone: 8201 3729

Read all about Tamara Lewis’s NCP experience in 2016, blog post 1 and post 2 for a taste of what to expect!

In Tara’s word below…

‘So, if you have the opportunity to travel abroad to study, then don’t think about it, just apply and go for it! Step outside your comfort zone and live like a local in a foreign country. Try different foods that you wouldn’t normally eat. Sleep in a dorm with people you barely know. Trust me, you won’t regret it. The experience was amazing and I have come away with so many stories and memories that will stick with me forever’.

View the Flinders Fiji short video produced by student participants and Prof Sonia Kleindorfer.