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College of Forestry and Conservation


Deep in the Delta: Wintersession in Vietnam

December 26, 2014 – January 19, 2015


BirdThere’s no better time of year to explore Vietnam than during their sun and our gray! Join us on our exploration of climate change in Vietnam, as we visit the cities, river delta, and beaches of Vietnam. Lively floating markets, quiet riverside villages, and the big city of Saigon: the Mekong Delta is the captivating backdrop for this study of climate change.

The College of Forestry & Conservation, the Mansfield Center, and the Environmental Studies Department have created a unique study abroad opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and experience of climate change in natural ecosystems in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. The field-based, experiential classes focus on climate change issues as well as the culture, ecology, economy and history of Vietnam. The program will be led by Climate Change Studies Instructor Nicky Phear and is suitable for students of all backgrounds and majors.

The program has two courses taught for both undergraduate credit at the 400-level and graduate credit at the 500-level:

NRSM 491 [ENST 595]: Society, Economy and Environment of the Mekong Delta, 3 cr

HammockThis course is cross-listed as:
ENST 491, ANTY 491, GPHY 491

An introduction to the history, cultures, economy and environment of Vietnam, with particular emphasis on the Mekong Delta region. This course includes a survey of:

  • The people, history and socio-economy of Vietnam.
  • Historical climate, natural ecosystems and land use in the Mekong Delta.
  • Ecology of large floodplain rivers.
  • Human impacts on the Mekong Delta and how the Delta’s ecosystems have affected the people.
  • Livelihoods of people living in the Delta.
  • Past and present Vietnamese government policies related to the Mekong Delta.
  • Perceptions and attitudes that local people have about their environment.
  • International management of the Mekong River: Laos, Cambodia and China.

NRSM 495 [ENST 595]: Climate Change Effects and Adaptation in the Mekong Delta, 3 cr

This course is cross-listed as:
ENST 495, ANTY 495, GPHY 495

An analysis of potential threats and opportunities to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change upon the ecosystems and people of the Mekong Delta, including:

  • Potential changes in climate and sea level around the Mekong Delta.
  • Ecological and socio-economic impacts of climate change in the Mekong Delta
  • Economically efficient policies and strategies Hutfor adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change on livelihoods, conservation of the environment, protection of infrastructure and urban development.
  • Contrast with North American climate change issues and policy options

Sample itinerary | Sample syllabus

About the instructor

Nicky Phear

Students blog about their experiences:

Deep in the Delta: Stories from Vietnam


Learn more about how women, especially in poorer countries, are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change:

Video: Climate Change Impacts on Women in Vietnam

Registration Information

COURSE DISCOUNTED UNTIL MAY 1.  THROUGH APRIL 30, COST IS $3,950.  MAY 1 COST INCREASES TO $4,450.  Please register by April 30 to get the discounted rate!

This includes:

  • tuition for 6 upper-division credits (with out-of-state students paying the same as in-state students), and
  • a program fee (which covers accommodation at hostels and motels, group activities and excursions, emergency and international health insurance, in-country transportation, and some meals).

Airfare is not included. There is no group airfare, but the instructor’s itinerary will be provided for those who want to travel internationally together. We accept students on a rolling admissions basis beginning March 1, 2014. We encourage you apply as soon as possible so that you can fully prepare for the program and obtain the cheapest possible airfare. The final application deadline is October 25, 2014.

Download the Application form

Interested students with specific questions can contact our office: or the Mansfield Center Project Director Deena Mansour at


For questions about any of the Study Abroad programs in the College of Forestry and Conservation, please contact us at:

Phone: 406-243-5521 | Fax: 406-243-4845