School News
Environmental Studies Talk focuses on Australian semester
By Austin College
Sep 12, 2017
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SHERMAN, TEXAS—Austin College senior Mindalena "Lena" Adams will be the featured speaker at the Environmental Studies Lunch Talk at Noon on Tuesday, September 12, in Wright Campus Center, Room 231. She will discuss her Spring Term 2017 experiences at the School for Field Studies in Queensland, Australia. Megan Telzrow, a School for Field Studies representative, also will give a brief overview of the program and be on hand to answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public. Individuals are welcome to bring their lunch to the presentation. Students without a meal plan may sign in with the Dining Hall cashier to receive their lunch at no charge. 

Adams, completing majors in biology and music, is the daughter of Kelley and Wesley Adams of Ladonia, Texas.  

Adams spent three months studying and traveling around in the Atherton Tablelands. She took three classes for part of the semester, studying rainforest ecology, environmental policy and socioeconomics, and rainforest management), and then spent the last three weeks of the semester completing a directed research project.  

Her research, Adams explained, involved surveys of plant characteristics to explore the dynamics of Wet Sclerophyll (an ecotone located between rainforest and savanna in the Australian Wet Tropics). “The data I collected contributed to a larger body of research on the subject, the goal of which is to figure out a better land management program for the Wet Tropics,” she said. “Although the program was pretty academically focused, there were plenty of occasions to explore. I went diving and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and hiked around the Cattana Wetlands.” She also had a homestay with a family who took her sailing, and she was able to work closely with a group of aboriginal rangers on their ecotourism project as well as learning their techniques of conservation. 

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.