About the International Field Experience

The Department offers an annual international trip where students are able to enjoy time abroad while studying the multiple fields of Earth Sciences. Typically the trip is held in Puerto Rico near the El Yunque National Forest. The trip usually takes place over the winter semester and is available to all Earth Sciences students, but seating is limited so be sure to reserve your spot early!

Puerto Rico and El Yunque National Forest

The eastern end of Puerto Rico is dominated by El Yunque National Forest. A mountainous area and the only tropical rainforest in the National Forest system. This area has been documented as having one of the fastest weathering rates in the world. As you travel west, total annual precipitation decreases from approximately 170 inches per year at El Yunque to 58 inches per year only 25 miles away in Patillas. The natural climate gradient with watersheds draining the same bedrock creates a unique natural laboratory to study the effects of climate on weathering and elemental cycling. Additionally, the impact of Hurricane Maria, which made landfall in this region of the island, adds on the chance to study the rebound of the system after a once in a century event.

View our Slideshow


For more information regarding the international field experience, contact Mark Noll or Lauri Kifer.