Mandi Caudill

NYC landscape

SEE-U NYC: Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates

Language of Instruction: English
Location:
New York, ,
United States
Term: Summer

Summer field studies programs available to undergraduate students

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Program Overview

UGE continues to plan for the return of Summer 2021 programs. Please sign up to receive program updates including when applications will be available.

The Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates (SEE-U) program provides an academic experience that is open to all undergraduate majors and which focuses on a global understanding of ecology and environmental sustainability. The SEE-U program gives you the opportunity to participate in a combination of lectures and labs, while conducting environmental fieldwork in unique natural settings around the world.

Eligibility and Application

  • Must be a currently enrolled undergraduate student and in good academic and disciplinary standing. Students from universities and colleges other than Columbia are welcome to apply.
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA

HOW TO APPLY

Want to apply? Click the “Start Your Application" button at the top of this page. If the button doesn't appear above, the program is not yet accepting applications. You will be asked to set up a short profile, which will allow us to send you relevant information about your application. Once you’ve created a profile, you will see a checklist of items that you will need to submit. These generally include:

  • Application questionnaire(s)
  • Personal statement
  • Letter of recommendation (to be completed by an academic or professional contact)
  • Home school approval/clearance

Academics

The program will consist of six Columbia University science credits over the course of approximately six weeks.

Perhaps the single most pressing challenge humanity faces this century is how to sustainably produce and distribute food to an ever-growing, increasingly urbanized population. Nearly two-thirds of the ecosystems of the world have been converted or are managed to provide food, fuel, and fiber for our current population of 7.2 billion people. Over 44% of land in the United States, for example, is already under cultivation; yet, over 12 million children in our country suffer from hunger and one in seven households suffer from food insecurity. By 2050, the world’s population is expected to increase by 2 to 3 billion people, and there is considerable research and debate on whether we can sustainably feed humanity without jeopardizing environmental sustainability.

The SEE-U NYC program provides students an opportunity to examine agroecosystems through exploring the diverse array of farms and food systems in New York City and its surrounding environs. Lectures introduce students to the foundations of ecology and conservation, focusing on agroecosystems which include: farms, rooftop gardens, hydroponic systems, pastures, community gardens, and plantations. The course also covers food systems, or “food to fork” pathways. Lectures at Columbia University with field excursions and lab exercises allow students to apply ecological concepts to real-world examples of agroecosystems. Weekly field trips include visits to farms and gardens within the city and rural farms and dairies outside of the city to expose students to the breadth of local and regional agroecosystems and food systems. Students each design and conduct their own research project as part of this course.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.

Fulfillment of Academic Requirements

Upon completion of the SEE-U program, you will receive six academic credits from Columbia University. Undergraduate students in good academic standing from all majors at all accredited colleges or universities may apply to the SEE-U program.

For Non-Columbia Students: Columbia University maintains high academic standards and it is likely that your institution will accept the credits from the SEE-U program as fulfillment of science or laboratory requirements. You are responsible for confirming that the credits from the SEE-U program are transferable and may be applied to your own academic program. If you have any questions or if your academic adviser would like to speak with one of our faculty members please email us directly.

Requirements Fulfilled at Columbia

We encourage you to speak with your academic adviser regarding how the SEE-U program can fit within your own particular academic program. Depending on your major and the school in which you are enrolled at Columbia University, the SEE-U program may be used to fulfill different sets of academic requirements. See below for historical details regarding how requirements have been fulfilled. Given that program requirements change regularly, please double-check all requirements with your adviser and department.

Columbia College
Non-Science Majors
The six credit SEE-U program fulfills two of the three Core Curriculum Science Requirements.

Environmental Biology Majors
Three credits of the SEE-U program may be used to fulfill an upper level laboratory requirement. The remaining three credits can be applied to either your general distribution or college credit requirements.

Sustainable Development Majors and Concentrators
The six credits of the SEE-U program may be used to fulfill course requirements in Analysis & Solutions of Complex Problems as well as the Skills / Actions areas.

Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species Majors and Concentrators
Three credits of the SEE-U program can be applied to either your general distribution or college credit requirements.

Other Science Majors
How the six credits of the SEE-U program may be applied will depend on your major. In general, three credits are used to fulfill an upper-level laboratory requirement and the remaining three credits may be applied to either your general distribution or college credit requirements.

General Studies
Non-Science Majors
The six credit SEE-U program fulfills two of the three Core Curriculum Science Requirements.

Sustainable Development Majors and Concentrators
The six credits of the SEE-U program may be used to fulfill course requirements in Analysis & Solutions of Complex Problems as well as the Skills / Actions areas.

Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species Majors and Concentrators
Three credits of the SEE-U program may be used towards the major / concentration and fulfills the conservation requirement. The remaining three credits can be applied to either your general distribution or college credit requirements.

Other Science Majors
How the six credits of the SEE-U program may be applied will depend on your major. In general, three credits are used to fulfill an upper-level laboratory requirement and the remaining three credits may be applied to either your general distribution or college credit requirements.

Barnard College
Non-Science Majors
The SEE-U program can be used to fulfill one of the two five-credit science requirements (the SEE-U program allows you to fulfill an entire intensive semester of science lab requirements).

Science Majors
The SEE-U program is most often used to fulfill an upper-level laboratory requirement. How the credits of the SEE-U program may be applied will depend on your major.

GRADES AND TRANSCRIPTS

All courses taken on the program are converted to an American grading scale and transmitted to students as follows:

Columbia students: Grades appear on SSOL and your transcript any semester grades from courses taken at Columbia. For more information, please see the section on Academic Credit in Steps to Study Abroad.

Barnard students: Grades appear on eBear and your transcript as any semester grades from courses taken at Barnard. For more information, please see the section on Credit and Transcripts for Barnard Students on our Barnard student pages.

Non-Columbia students: Grades are entered into Columbia system and you will need to request a transcript to obtain your final grades. Please see the section on Credit and Transcripts for Non-Columbia Students on the Non-Columbia student pages.

Life in NYC

Housing

Participants are expected to find their own accommodations within the New York City area. Students must be within commuting distance of the Columbia Morningside Heights campus. If you are interested in Columbia on-campus housing, please do not hesitate to reach out to Columbia Housing directly, as on-campus housing may be available throughout the duration of the program experience at regular CU Housing rates.

People

FACULTY

Dr. Amanda Caudill is a conservation ecologist and research scientist. She is interested in sustainable agriculture as a means to provide wildlife habitat, foster ecosystem services, and conserve biodiversity, while simultaneously providing for human livelihoods. She has worked with coffee sustainability from seed to cup and has conducted field work in coffee-growing regions of India, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Dr. Caudill teaches courses in agroecology, coffee, and sustainable agriculture.

Financial Considerations

PROGRAM COSTS

Program Fee Summer 2020: Includes tuition, partial meals and program transportation. It does not cover housing, meals while on campus, visa, medical insurance, book and course materials, and personal expenses: $10,000.

Please see our cost breakdown for detailed information on additional estimated expenses.

Tuition and fees are subject to Board of Trustees approval and may change.

FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS

If you are on financial aid, check to see if it can be applied to studying abroad. In general, summer financial aid is not available to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering students, but may be available to School of General Studies students. Non-Columbia students should check with their home schools for funding availability.


For more general information and resources on financing your time abroad, please see the pages below:

WITHDRAWAL POLICY

If you decide to withdraw from the program once it has already started, please be aware of the financial consequences and the office policies by clicking here.

Resources for Accepted Students

Fact Sheet

Advisers:
Discipline:
STEM
Eligibility:
Barnard College, Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, Columbia General Studies, Columbia Undergraduates, Columbia-Led Programs, First Year, Junior, Non-Columbia Undergraduates, Sophomore, Study Abroad
Language of Instruction:
Location:
New York, ,
United States
Region:
NY
Term:
Summer

Dates & Deadlines

Summer
2020
Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 2, 2020
Program Dates: 
Monday, July 6, 2020 to Friday, August 14, 2020