Oil Palms and Orangutans: Forest Conservation in Malaysian Borneo

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Sabah, Malaysia

June 20 - July 4, 2024 

Applications open fall 2024


Conversion of tropical forests to oil palm plantations across SE Asia is among the most pressing conservation challenges in the world today. Dive into the complex ecological, social, economic, and political dimensions of tropical forest conservation in Malaysian Borneo.

Students will be introduced to the major conservation challenges facing Borneo while traveling around the Malaysian state of Sabah. Students will learn during several days spent visiting conservation centers like the Rainforest Discovery Center, the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, and the Bornean Sunbear Conservation Center. The class will also visit the Danum Valley Field Center, located in the Danum Valley Conservation Area, which consists of more than 400 square kilometers of pristine tropical rainforest. The forest became conservation area before industry moved in, making the ecosystem extremely unique and highly biodiverse. Planning is underway to explore further forest and wildlife management within two major forest reserves, and to learn about the social, economic, and ecological impacts of oil palm plantations. Finally, arrangements are being made to expose students to a number of community-based organizations working in the Kota Kinabalu area on issues related to economic development, environmental protection, community health, education, and cultural preservation.


Supplemental Internship Opportunity

Students who are interested in a 1-2 month internship in Malaysian Borneo (at the conclusion of the faculty-led program) may apply for a COF International Internship, also during summer term. Internship opportunities range from field research, environmental education, community development, wildlife conservation and rehabilitation to forest management and more. You can utilize financial aid and earn credit for these internships. If you’re interested in this option, please contact cof.international@oregonstate.edu for more information!


Learn about one student's experience in Borneo on our CoF International blog!



Faculty-led programs are available to ALL OSU STUDENTS

This includes all majors and campuses, including E-campus, Cascades, dually enrolled students at partner Community Colleges, and our main campus in Corvallis. Because these programs are short-term, they tend to bring together diverse groups of graduate and undergraduate students, online and campus-based learners, students of different ages, majors, and life experiences. That diversity makes group interaction so much richer because there are so many different perspectives.





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