Study climate models, carbon management, and the impact of climate change on Arctic ecosystems and societies. Visit renewable energy centers and glaciers amidst Iceland's and Greenland's unique landscapes.
Witness the impact of climate change on ecosystems and communities in the Arctic and subarctic, where change is occurring faster—and with greater consequences for the entire globe—than anywhere else on earth.
Visit glaciers, volcanoes, fjords, geothermal fields, lava flows, black sand beaches, waterfalls, and subarctic cities and villages to see ecological transformation and human adaptation firsthand.
Spend two weeks in Greenland, where you’ll meet climate change experts and, in fall semesters, visit a climate monitoring station.
Conduct fieldwork that introduces you to scientific methods and data collection and complete an original research project that has real-world applications.
Gain insider access to experts who work directly with monitoring, predicting, and planning for impacts of a changing climate.
During the final four weeks of the program, you can choose to use the academic knowledge you have acquired to complete an Independent Study Project (ISP) on a topic of interest to you. Emphasis is placed on real-world relevance, interdisciplinary perspectives on climate change, and connecting with current research in Iceland. Working independently or in a small group, you will track climate change effects and/or design a method for protecting Arctic climate. You will also build collaborative partnerships with local scientific and indigenous communities to encourage innovation.
Thinning of ice sheets and glacier retreat
Ecosystem carbon sequestration
Arctic air pollution
Climate change impacts on traditional lifestyles
Communicating climate science
Arctic tourism and climate change
Invasive species proliferation and altered migration patterns caused by climate change
Key Topics of Study
An overview of Arctic climate, landforms, and ecosystems and how humans interact with them
The impact of climate change on animal, plant, and human communities in the Arctic and how these communities adjust
Climate modeling and trends, including a chance to develop your own climate models
Renewable energy systems
Indigenous knowledge of changes in climate
Communicating climate change and science
How changes—from potential sea level rise to accessibility to resources previously under ice— will affect the globe
The consequences of climate change and ideas to solve the problems it creates
Scientific methods, data collection, and ethics of climate research
Previous college-level coursework or other preparation in engineering, earth sciences, sustainability, environmental policy, sociology, biology, geology, geography, chemistry, archaeology, and/or environmental science/studies.
Franklin & Marshall Academic Policy
F&M requires all students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution or off-campus study program. You can typically find this information on the program partner's website. In many cases, this will be four or five courses for a semester. Many programs grant course credit in U.S. semester credit hours. Franklin & Marshall will award four F&M course credits for a total of 15 or 16 U.S. semester credit hours. If the total number of credits for your program is more than 16 or less than 15, divide the total number by four to find out how many course credits you will receive (this includes summer study).
Courses on off-campus study programs must be taken for a letter grade, not on a pass/no pass basis. Grades from off-campus study program courses will appear on your Franklin & Marshall transcript, but they will not be calculated into your cumulative GPA.
Courses taken off-campus may be able to satisfy major, minor, language or distribution requirements (Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Non-Western Cultures or Natural Science Lab) in addition to general elective credit. Courses may fulfill more than one requirement. Please note that Franklin & Marshall cannot issue transfer credit for a course taken in a department that is not represented at the College. If a course does not clearly fall under a department, the off-campus study advising staff can help you determine whether or not it can be accepted for credit.
Franklin & Marshall Housing Policy
Housing options during your off-campus study program will vary by program. Some programs may allow students to choose their housing option; other programs require all students to live in a certain type of housing. Typical housing arrangements may include apartments, homestays, or on-campus housing at a local university. Please visit the program homepage to determine your program's housing options or requirements.
Please note that some programs may offer students the option to pursue independent housing (outside of the regular housing options provided by the program). F&M does not allow students to choose independent housing unless there is a significant academic or cultural reason (such as wanting to live in a homestay when only apartment housing is provided). Independent housing carries many risks and F&M and the program provider cannot provide any support to students who pursue independent housing. Students who are interested in pursuing independent housing will need to contact their off-campus study adviser to petition for approval to pursue this option.
Financial Policy, Financial Aid and Scholarships
During the academic year, students will continue to be eligible for financial aid during a term of off-campus study. This includes federal and state loans and Franklin & Marshall merit scholarships and need-based grants. In general, eligibility for financial aid is based on Franklin & Marshall tuition, cost of housing and meals from the off-campus study program, and an allowance for books and personal expenses. Your annual estimated family contribution as generated by your FAFSA will remain the same regardless of program costs. Students who receive Grant-in-Aid benefits will continue to access these benefits for the semester off-campus. This benefit is only available to students of eligible full-time F&M faculty and staff.