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CONTACT

Dr. Gad Perry
Associate Professor
Department of Natural Resources Management
Texas Tech University
Phone: (806)742-2842
Office: Goddard Hall 202C
Email: gad.perry@ttu.edu

TTU STUDY ABROAD

Enrich your educational experience by taking advantage of at least one of the numerous opportunities available for study abroad. The Web site link below allows you to do a search for universities which, together with TTU, offer study abroad opportunities for your particular agricultural discipline. Explore the various opportunities and complete the online application for study abroad at this Web site. In person, you may find out more about TTU Study Abroad programs through the Overseas Resources Center located on the TTU Campus in Room 110J of the International Cultural Center.

Texas Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management has two faculty-led study abroad classes, a Fall class for graduate students, focused on research and taught in the British Virgin Islands, and one for undergraduates, held during the summer in various tropical countries including the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, and, most recently, in Ethiopia.

The program is not based in a single location, but rather involved travelling through diverse ecosystems, exploring historical sites, and spending about a week camping in a nature reserve and exploring species and habitats through trips and projects. During the summer of 2012, Texas Tech students were joined by 10 Ethiopian undergraduates in exploring the biology, history and sustainability of their country. The students met at Mekelle University in northern Ethiopia and shared a bus for the next three weeks.

Together they first explored northern Ethiopia, including the ancient rock-hewn church of Debre Tsion Abraham and the early capitols of Axum and Lalibela. The first was established more than 2000 years ago and still holds impressive obelisks; the later-established capitol of Lalibela holds world-famous rock-hewn churches.

  • The setting for these is land that has been ravaged by over-exploitation and war and is no longer as fertile as it once was. However, students also saw for themselves the great efforts made by the Ethiopian government to update the infrastructure and invest in education, and the optimistic and committed nature of the Ethiopian people.
  • Travelling south and covering almost 4,000 miles in all, students visited the falls at the source of the Nile, the capitol Addis Ababa, and several nature reserves. The primary setting was the Nechisar National Park near the southern town of Arba Minch (which means "40 springs" in Amharic). For a week, students camped in the reserve, exploring habitats and meeting zebras, hippos, and even a leopard close-up.
  • Group projects required teams of Americans and Ethiopian design studies that looked at three species of monkeys found locally, at the abundant invertebrates, and at the effects of visitor trampling. Guest lectures by Ethiopian and international experts, including the Warden of Nechisar National Park, helped introduce the students to the challenges of managing natural resources in a developing countries and to some strategies that work. In addition, the friendships forged between the Texas Tech and Ethiopian students helped bridge cultures and enrich the experience for all involved.