Skip to Content
Programs : Brochure
This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
AUGUSTANA FACULTY LED PROGRAM: Biology 397: Explorations in Aotearoa II: The Biogeography and Culture of the New Zealand South Island
Christchurch, New Zealand; Dunedin, New Zealand; Wellington, New Zealand (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: January Interim
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Restrictions: Augustana College applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA:
Program Type:
Housing Options:
Course Leader:
Hall, Carrie, Howard, Daniel
Program Provider:
Augustana College
Areas of Study:
Program Capacity:
Additional Prerequisites:
Academic Good Standing, Dean of Students Approval
Fulfills Gen Ed:
Major/Minor Credit:
Add'l App Required:
Additional Fees:
$150 IPO Administrative Fee
Program Description:
        nz mudbathing

Academic Overview
 This course is designed to immerse the student in an interactive study of the unique biogeography and indigenous culture of the South Island of New Zealand, known as Aotearoa by the Maori. One of the continental remnants of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, New Zealand exhibits levels of biological endemicity unrivaled across the globe.  The biota of this land mass is the result of a startling evolutionary experiment in which mammals, prominent on all other continents, are virtually absent and replaced by giant insects and flightless birds.  New Zealand's cultural history, associated first with the indigenous Maori people and their traditions and then later with European settlers, is equally fascinating and deserving of study.  Students in the course will conduct both qualitative and quantitative investigations designed to increase their understanding of the evolutionary and historical events that shaped the natural and human history of the South Island of New Zealand.  Students will compare and contrast these events and their consequences to the experiences that shaped comparable North American histories. The course is structured to include one week of class activities and trip orientation at Augustana College prior to departure for a three week educational exploration of the South Island of New Zealand.  Students will spend the first week of the course on a Department of Conservation Island Reserve (Matiu/Somes Island) conducting biological research under the guidance of Dr. Howard and Hall, with investigations focused on increasing our understanding of the evolution of acoustic and vibrational communication in New Zealand insects.  Students will cross the Cook Strait from Wellington to the South Island, traveling via Intercity bus between study locations and staying at local New Zealand YHA facilities.  During the course students will attend a traditional Maori kapahaka (dancing) performance and experience traditional Maori kai (food) at a Maori hangi (feast).  Students will also observe and document the influence of Great Britain on the development of contemporary society, and seek to understand how these societal values can conflict with Maori tradition.  Students will explore the biogeography, ecology and evolution of the South Island flora and fauna through hands-on field exercises at multiple locations across the South Island landscape. 

Comprehensive Fee:  TBD
The comprehensive fee includes round-trip airfare, ground transportation, housing, and meals.  The comprehensive fee does not include the IPO Administrative Fee of $150 which will be assessed at the time of course registration.

This J-term class is designed as an interdisciplinary course intended for Augustana students from across the disciplines that have an interest in the geography, biology, culture and history of New Zealand.  Students must have completed their first year at Augustana (sophomore or higher class standing), and have maintained a 3.0 GPA.  Student must also possess, or be eligible to acquire, a U.S. passport.  Biology students will be able to use the course toward major graduation requirements.

Required Readings
Ghosts of Gondwana: The History of Life in New Zealand by George W. Gibbs, Jan. 2006. Craig Potton Publishing
Bone People by Keri Hule, 1986. Penguin Books

Site reports
40% Daily reflective journal
15% Final evaluative paper
15% Course participation 

Program Directors
Dr. Daniel R. Howard, Assistant Professor of Biology
Office GSC #148, Laboratory GSC #9
Office phone: 605-274-4048

Dr. Carrie L. Hall, Assistant Professor of Biology
Office GSC 148A, Laboratory GSC #12
Office phone: (605)274-4444

Application Procedures and Deadline
  1. Select the Apply Now button at the top to start your online application.
  2. Log in.  If you are a new user, you will see that you need to create an account first.  We suggest using your Augustana user name and password.
  3. Complete all application materials by the application deadline.  Note that there is a priority enrollment period for this course.  All applications received by the priority application deadline will receive equal consideration for admission.  Applications received after the priority application deadline will be considered on a rolling and space available basis until the final application deadline.

Priority Application Deadline:  April 15, 2015

Final Application Deadline:  October 1, 2015

For more information on course content or course logistics, contact Dr. Howard or Dr. Hall directly.  For questions about application procedures, contact the International Programs Office at 605-274-5050 or

Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.