Island Ecology Program
The Island Ecology Program is an interdisciplinary summer field school. Following a seminar during the spring semester (Environmental Studies 140, a half course), students study geology, hydrology, soils, plant communities, land use, coastal marine biology, invertebrate zoology, vertebrate ecology and animal behavior for five weeks on St. Catherines Island, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. The experience emphasizes the interdependence of these disciplines by exploring how the island ecosystem functions.
Now in its 27th year, the Island Ecology Program has inspired a generation of Sewanee students. It provides the unique opportunity to live and work on St. Catherines, one of the largest undeveloped islands on the Atlantic coast of the United States. The program involves faculty from multiple departments at Sewanee and outside experts with long experience on St. Catherines.
The Island Ecology Program was recently reviewed in the Sewanee Magazine.
The summer field school (Environmental Studies 240, two full courses) satisfies the science and laboratory science general distribution requirements and one writing-intensive credit. The program also counts as an upper level elective course for Biology, Ecology and Biodiversity, Forestry, and Natural Resources majors. The program is open to students from all academic majors and interests, and successful participants have included majors in subjects as diverse as philosophy, theater, chemistry, and political science. Costs are similar to other summer school programs and need-based financial aid is available.
An information session about the program is held in early November. Applications are due before Thanksgiving, and spaces in the program are offered and assigned before the winter break. The program is not open to graduating seniors.
Program founder Timothy Keith-Lucas retired in 2011 after 25 years as Director of the Island Ecology Program.
For more information, contact the Island Ecology Program faculty:
- Ken Smith, Program Co-Director, Department of Forestry and Geology
- Kirk Zigler, Program Co-Director, Department of Biology
- David Haskell, Department of Biology
- Bran Potter, Department of Forestry and Geology
Or current students who participated in the program:
- Ali Brown, Matt Hagler, Watson Hartsoe, Lauren Joca, Arden Jones, Vincent Leray, Eileen Schaeffer, Katie Wakefield, Jason Grimes, Parker Haynes, Mary Hosch, Shannon Jones, Shelby Koebley, Will Noggle, Sam Parker, Joanna Parkman, April Shi, Tarver Shimek, Daniel Williams, Will Vaughan, Nancy Lilly, Hali Steinmann, Sam Taussig and Kelsa Warner