Introduction to the Vietnam 2013 Class
Sixteen students from the University of Montana will be in Vietnam from December 27, 2012 – January 19, 2013 for a study abroad field course focused on climate change impacts and adaptation. It’s the only program of its kind in the U.S, developed through a partnership between The University of Montana’s Mansfield Center and Can Tho University, an innovative university in the Mekong Delta.
Students will study the intertwined relationships of society, environment, and economy, to look at the potential impacts of climate change on each of these, and to see how people are adapting, or planning to adapt, to the coming changes.
The group will be spend several days in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), take field trips to coastal fishing communities, meet with rice and aquaculture farmers, and visit cultural sites. They’ll also travel to mangrove forests in Ca Mau Province and wetlands in Tram Chim National Park (one of the last natural wetlands in the Plain of Reeds wetland system), and spend four days in a homestay.
Meet the group and follow along through our daily blogs posts and photos
Dan Spencer is a faculty member at the University of Montana where he teaches in the Environmental Studies program and contributes to the International Develop Studies and Climate Change Studies minors. Some of his areas of teaching and research interest include ecological ethics, ethical issues in ecological restoration, and globalization, justice, and environmental issues in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He first had a chance to visit Vietnam and Cambodia while teaching with Semester at Sea in 2011, and he is delighted to be able to return to Vietnam to study the effects of climate change on the Mekong Delta.
Hello, I’m Milo Anderson. Currently I am a senior at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. I am majoring in both Field Biology and Zoo Science, with plans of attending graduate school with focus on environmental education. I am extremely excited to be able to experience Vietnam through the University of Montana study abroad program. My love of traveling has taken me on a couple of African adventures, but I am sitting at the edge of my seat with excitement to be able to explore Vietnam with a group of like minded individuals. When I’m not working at the zoo I love to spend as much of my time outside as possible. While in Vietnam I hope to not only learn more about the specific threats of climate change but also more about the various cultures, wildlife, ecosystems, and the country as a whole.
My name is Sara Anderson. I’m from Missoula and currently in the middle of my fourth year at the University of Montana, majoring in Environmental Studies, minoring in Spanish, Wildland Restoration and International Development Studies, and dabbling in creative writing, women’s and gender studies and botany. When not studying, I enjoy ultimate frisbee, rowing, reading, cooking, cross country skiing and hiking. I am excited to spend time in a country where I don’t speak the language and to develop a greater understanding of the impacts of climate change and the opinions of the people about climate change in a country that is very different from the US.
Hi! My name is Ellen Brandell; I am a Wildlife Biology major and Climate Change Studies and Communications double minor. I was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, and moved to Big Sky Country in hopes of finding tranquility in the outdoors and incredible opportunities. Going to Vietnam is my first adventure to Asia and I am mostly looking forward to the delicious food and learning about and understanding people vastly different from Western culture. Other than traveling, I enjoy camping, hiking, eating, snowshoeing, and essentially all outdoor activities. One day I hope to work to save species being endangered by the changing climate.
I am Harper Kaufman and I am a senior at the University of Montana studying Religious Studies and climate change studies. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and moved to Missoula two years ago after going to school in Portland, OR for two years. I love spending time outdoors running, backpacking, skiing, hiking, and more. My passion for climate change and mitigation education has come about as a result of my experiences here in Montana. I have been working for Nicky Phear this past semester as I simultaneously take several Climate Change classes. This issue has been a huge part of my life these past few months, and I cannot wait to get a glimpse at the issue from the Vietnam prospective. I am going to Vietnam to further my education on the extent of global Climate Change problems and to explore the fascinating and foreign culture of Vietnam.
The work introduced her to issues of water scarcity in the Rocky Mountain West. She entered law school in 2010 and continues to focus on natural resource dispute resolution, land use and water law. She hopes to continue after law school with a career in water law.
I’m Ben Simonson and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be apart of this study abroad trip, and am looking forward to experiencing every aspect of the Vietnamese culture. From whatever crazy delicacies I can find in the market (dont worry, I have an Acidophilus prescription), to observing social relationships, to experiencing the Vietnamese music scene, I’m not going to let a single opportunity pass me by. I am from Fargo, ND, and am a senior studying resource management and climate change studies at the University of Montana, which is the foremost reason I am taking part in this trip; to study the effects of climate change on the Mekong Delta.
Rebecca Singleton is a sophomore studying chemistry at the University of Montana. She was born in California, where she lived for 15 years before moving to Milwaukee Wisconsin. She decided to go to the University of Montana because she loves the mountains and wanted to experience a new culture. She loves to read, see live shows, and snowboard. Rebecca also loves to travel and hopes to one-day travel to every continent. Her interest for traveling made her decide to look into study abroad programs. Rebecca’s love for traveling and her interest in climate change studies made Deep in the Delta a perfect program for her.
My name is Milan Vinks. I am a senior at the University of Montana graduating this spring with an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology. I went to high school in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to Montana in 2009 to take advantage of the wonderful outdoor adventures the state has to offer. I am a big proponent of adventure, which prompted me to join this expedition to Vietnam. I look forward to experiencing a completely new culture and I am extremely curious to see the Vietnamese perspective on conservation and natural resource management considering the impending global climate change.
Hi! My name is Rennie Winkelman, and I am a freshman in the Wildlife Biology program at the University of Montana. I moved to
Montana from Colorado, and I am so glad that I came to Missoula. I love being outdoors and camping, fishing, hiking, biking, rafting, and skiing. I really enjoy traveling, especially when you can spend time in an area and explore the local culture and environment.
I am very excited about this trip to Vietnam. I am looking forward to studying environmental issues on an international scale, and I hope that this trip will solidify my interest in environmental science as a minor. I also look forward to experiencing a place that is so different from the United States. This will be the trip of a lifetime for me. I am very excited to have this opportunity to travel with other students to such a fascinating place.