Learning Abroad Center

Thailand: Tiger Conservation & Vertebrate Field Methods

Asia & Oceania

Experience Thai culture in a region that is home to tigers, wild elephants, wild cattle, and more than 600 species of birds. You will learn about conservation challenges by applying a set of well-developed field survey and conservation tools.

This program is administered by the College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences' Office of International Programs. Applications are processed by the Learning Abroad Center.

Program Details

Multiple locations, Thailand
Winter Break
Languages Taught In
Languages Taught In
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Program Eligibility

Student Type
Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Student Year


Interested in studying tigers? This is the primary focus of a three-week experience in Thailand, where you will explore the country's cultural heritage and conservation challenges. CFANS has been a principal partner in a long-term tiger conservation project, and one of the highlights of this course will be working on that project in a biodiversity hotspot that is home to over 400 bird species, 90 reptile species, and 108 species of fish. Activities will include camera-trapping techniques, prey assessment methods, and radio telemetry approaches to the study of tigers and other large mammals. The course will begin with a two-day visit to Suphan Buri Province, near the Tha Chin River, North of Bangkok where you will learn about Thai culture, and enjoy several excursions. Then you'll travel to Thailand's premier conservation research site, Khao Nang Rum Wildlife Research Center, the home base for daily field activities and a launching point for a wilderness trip into more remote parts of western Thailand. Not only will you experience the beauty and diversity of Thailand, but as part of a team you will investigate and gain an understanding of landscape-scale conservation strategies and methods to study large mammals and birds. Prior to departure, you will return to Bangkok to explore this vibrant and unforgettable city.

Click here to see captioned photos from the most recent program!

Looking for more information, description, and understanding? See a daily journal from past student participants.

Each experience in Thailand is unique, and while this journal is an accurate overview of the program, your experience will be special to your year.

Program Model


Housing & Meals

You will stay in a hotel in Bangkok, at Punpisar resort in Suphan Buri Province, and in bungalows at Khao Nang Rum Research Station in Uthai Thani. You will also camp, and are responsible for bringing a sleeping bag. Other camping equipment supplied. All meals will be provided except for lunch and dinner on the last day in Bangkok.

Application Deadline

September 23, 2022

Program Dates

Depart from Minneapolis-Saint Paul: December 27, 2022
Arrive in Thailand: December 28, 2022
Depart from Thailand: January 15, 2023

These dates are tentative. 


Earn 3 credits for CFAN 3504. In this course, students will: 

  • experience the natural and cultural beauty and diversity of Thailand; 
  • acquire broad knowledge of major conservation issues in Southeast Asia; 
  • gain experience in designing and executing ecological field investigations for large mammals; 
  • apply methods to study large mammals and birds;
  • and obtain a broad knowledge of landscape-scale conservation strategies.

If you are interested in sustainability, conservation, and management of natural resources will benefit from this experience.

Program Leader

Dave Smith and Francesca Cuthbert are professors in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Smith has a special interest in biology and conservation of mammals in Asia, specifically tigers, their social organization and dispersal patterns. Cuthbert's special interest is in biology and conservation of water birds.


You will visit the Suphan Buri Province, North of Bangkok near the Tha Chin River. Here you will learn Thai culture, visit Sam Chuk Market, visit the water buffalo conservation center, and see the Sakorn Thai house living museum. Next, complete nearly two weeks of instruction and fieldwork at Thailand’s premier conservation research site (Khao Nang Rum Wildlife Research Center) in the heart of the vast Western Forest Complex. The field experience will conclude with a two day stay at Thailand’s major freshwater wetland, Bungborapet, to mist-net and band birds before returning to Bangkok.

For more information, view the program itinerary.

More Information

Contact Shelly Fisher from the CFANS Office of International Programs at [email protected] with your questions.

Program Fee

Program Fee Forthcoming

Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, airfare, and program inclusions. The program fee generally includes tuition, group flight airfare, airport transfers, in-country program-related transportation, housing, some meals, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, program administration, and international health insurance. Generally, the program fee ranges from $6,500-$7,500. You must also budget for passport and passport photos, some meals, textbooks, independent travel, and miscellaneous living expenses.

If a student is required to isolate during the program dates, due to Covid-19, there may be an additional cost for the isolation period. Additional housing costs might also be covered by the onsite partner's insurance plan. In some cases, with agreement by students and prior approval from the university, roommates, apartment-mates or students who are in close contact with each other and who both test positive, may share a room in quarantine housing, in accordance with local regulations. This information is subject to change and will be updated accordingly.

Billing & Payments

The application fee, deposit, and program fee are charged to the student's UMN account. 

Financial Aid & Scholarships

The College of Food, Agricultural & Natural Resource Sciences offers grants for study abroad programs; learn more here. Students can learn about financial aid and scholarships through the Learning Abroad Center here.

Cancellation Policy

All applicants are charged a $50 non-refundable application fee by the Learning Abroad Center. Students who confirm their participation in the program will have charged to their student account a $750 non-refundable deposit. Confirmed students who cancel their application before October 7 are responsible for the non-refundable deposit. Confirmed students who cancel their application on October 7 or later are responsible for the non-refundable deposit and any non-recoverable fees. 

In the event that the CFANS Office of International Programs (OIP) is forced to cancel this program, accepted and confirmed students will receive a full refund of their application fee and deposit. 

Students have the option to appeal the CFANS OIP cancellation policy when canceling from a program for extenuating circumstances. Please refer to the Learning Abroad Center's refund appeal process for details and the form to submit. The review and decision will be made by CFANS OIP, not the LAC refund appeal committee.

In the near future COVID vaccine requirements may be instituted by specific countries and/or airlines without advance notice. Vaccination gives you the best chance for participation in a program and will keep open the most travel options. 

The inability to participate in a program because of local, national, or airline restrictions if you are not vaccinated but are eligible to be vaccinated will not be considered a valid reason for a refund.

Winter Break 2022-2023

Cost of Participation Forthcoming


Complete pre-application advising.


This program is no longer accepting applications. We'd encourage you to check out Belize: Wildlife Medicine & Conservation as another option.


When you submit your online application, you will be assigned an application checklist that includes:

  • First Step session
  • University of Minnesota Student Release and Waiver Form

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist.

Next Steps

  1. You will receive an automated email message indicating your application was received.
  2. Follow the instructions on your application checklist to submit the Student Release and Waiver Form.
  3. Your application is not considered complete until the form has been received and you have completed the First Step module. Your completed application will be forwarded to the program leader in the sponsoring college/department for review.
  4. The program leader will notify the Learning Abroad Center of acceptance decisions. If accepted, you will be notified via email and assigned a confirmation checklist, which includes:
    • Health Information Form
    • Confirmation and Payment Agreement
    • Online Health & Safety Orientation
  5. Login to the online application to review the confirmation checklist and submit the required items.
  6. Once you submit all items, your participation will be confirmed and your student account will be billed for the program deposit.
  7. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application and submit a Cancel Request. You must also notify your program leader of your cancellation.