Study Abroad Program Overview

This UC program is run through the Environmental Science, Policy and Management Department (ESPM) at UC Berkeley and is based at the Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station, located in Moorea, French Polynesia. The station is host to renown scientists and students from around the world and has a long history of providing educational and research opportunities. The program provides an exceptional learning experience and advanced training for University of California undergraduates. It draws on the diverse interdisciplinary research carried out at the Gump Station by leading researchers from around the world, blended with the traditional wisdom of the Polynesian people. The incorporation of the cultural and traditional aspects of the program is made possible through the unique partnership between UC Berkeley and the Tahitian community via the Atitia Center. This partnership is with a Tahitian community-based organization, the Association Te Pu 'Atiti'a, which is made up of local educators and tradition experts. The Atitia Center develops common educational and research programs focused on marine and terrestrial biodiversity, traditional knowledge, culture, and the relationship between human societies and natural ecosystems. Students will also be exposed to a variety of local and international NGOs working in the region and will benefit from the blend of European, American and Tahitian perspectives affecting all aspects of life and sustainability on the beautiful, tropical islands of French Polynesia.

Moorea is an island located 11 miles north of Tahiti. It is a rural island  with several villages and towns. The island and its nearshore marine ecosystem are one of the best-studied systems in the world. Moorea is recognized as an unusually resilient coral reef; current studies are examining the factors that underpin this resilience. 

The Island Sustainability program in French Polynesia is appropriate for students in majors relating to environmental science/studies, ecology, biological science, or anthropology. 

Instruction will be in English (French and Tahitian spoken locally)

Island Sustainability French Polynesia – Winter 2021 Program Outline

  • 5 courses over intensive 11-week field program 

  • Credits: 15 semester units

  • Students will be based on Moorea and visit Tahiti and nearby atoll Tetiaroa

  • Cost of the program is similar to a semester on campus. Financial aid is available. 


Course instructors

Interested in joining this Program?

Unfortunately the Island Sustainability Program for 2021 has been cancelled by University of California due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We look forward to welcoming students in 2022!

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