- Can I start and complete this degree with possible travel and in-person restrictions due to COVID?
Yes! We understand we are living in a time of immense unknowns. Fortunately, Miami’s Dragonfly graduate programs were originally designed as primarily hybrid and online web-based degrees. Therefore, we are fully prepared to adjust our courses to be 100% online as needed for health and safety concerns. For example, our “Earth Expeditions: Connected Conservation” course was offered 100% online in summer 2020 and included more than 200 enrolled students working from home to engage in meaningful connections and conservation action. Similarly our AIP zoo/botanical garden partners have adapted to virtual meetings to maintain course learning while staying safe at home. We are hopeful that Earth Expeditions and our AIP W+ courses (with face-to-face experiential learning at zoos/botanical gardens) will resume and run as normal for 2021. That said, regardless of what the future holds, we are fully prepared to adapt as needed so that students at all stages can continue making progress toward their master’s degrees.
For more information, you can also view our COVID-19 page.
- Must I have had a long and outstanding teaching career and/or have previously traveled abroad to be considered?
No. You need not have won any awards or traveled at all. The selection committee is looking for a wide cross-section of people — different levels of experience, different ages, different backgrounds, different kinds of educators from school and non-school settings — to accept into the program. Our courses are also open to select undergraduate and graduate students from Miami University. Please also see Admissions.
- Will age be a factor in the selection process?
No. Miami University is committed to providing equal opportunity and an educational and work environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, or veteran status. Miami shall adhere to all applicable state and federal equal opportunity/affirmative action statutes and regulations. All applicants will be considered based on their application materials.
- Do I have to have taken classes at Miami University to apply?
No. You need not have taken classes or be a graduate of Miami to apply. Please click here to see who is eligible.
- Are there physical requirements?
Yes. Earth Expeditions courses have physical requirements.
Please see Admissions.
- Who is eligible to apply?
Please see Admissions.
- I’m not a classroom teacher/I’m not a science teacher. Am I still eligible for the program?
Absolutely. Please click here to see who is eligible. We strive for individuals from all disciplines and backgrounds.
- I don’t live in Ohio or near Cincinnati. Will this affect whether I’m chosen?
No. Whether you live in Cincinnati, Nepal, or Honolulu, your place of residence does not affect whether you are accepted to any Earth Expeditions course. It does not matter where you live or work.
- By what criteria will I be evaluated?
After you submit your application, a selection committee will review your application materials. The selection committee will be looking carefully at your entire application. Of particular importance are your essays. The committee is looking for a wide cross-section of people — different levels of experience, different ages, different kinds of educators from school and non-school settings — to accept into the program.
- If I am selected for an Earth Expeditions course this year, may I apply again next year?
Yes. However, participation in an Earth Expeditions course does not guarantee a spot in future courses.
- What is an Earth Expeditions course?
Earth Expeditions courses are 7 graduate credit hour (5 credit Summer Term courses + 2 credit Fall Semester courses) online courses that combine direct global study experiences in Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas with engagement in Dragonfly Workshops’ web-based learning community. Courses typically run from April through mid-December, with the international field “in-country” portion of each class typically lasting 9-10 days.
- Do I have time to apply?
Applications are accepted beginning in September and are accepted until the January 28th due date. For more information, please see Admissions.
- When will I be notified if I’m accepted?
All applicants will receive their admission decision notification via email by March 15 of each year (due to covid this date is April 15, 2021).
- Must I submit my application and resume via the Web?
Yes. The Earth Expeditions application is usually available on the Web from fall to the January 28 due date.
- I don’t have a computer at home. Will this affect my chance of being chosen? How will it affect my completion of course work?
In order to apply to the program, Earth Expeditions applicants must have a valid email address and access to a computer with an Internet connection. If accepted to the program, all coursework (with the exception of the 9-10 day field-based component) takes place within Dragonfly Workshops. an easy-to-use web-based platform. From home or work, and on their own schedule, students work online with course instructors and classmates to discuss course assignments, develop and present projects, and exchange ideas. Although our courses have technological requirements, lacking a personal computer and/or Internet access will not hinder your chance of being accepted to the program; however, they are essential for success in this online program. If you are accepted to Earth Expeditions, you will be issued a Miami University email address, which you are required to use. Remember: the web-based component of this course is managed according to your own schedule, so you may be able to use a computer with Internet access at your place of employment or at a public library. Don’t let the technological requirements bar you from applying. But remember that you’ll need to have access to a computer with Internet capability for a minimum of one to three hours a week.
- If I am accepted to an Earth Expeditions course, is it my responsibility to arrange my own airfare?
Yes; however, accepted applicants will receive further information about traveling to their course destinations. If you are accepted to an Earth Expeditions course, you are responsible for making your own travel arrangements to the specified city within the country of your Earth Expeditions. It is also each student’s individual responsibility to meet the class at the specified time and location. Due to the complexities of group travel and logistical constraints such as hotel and transport reservations, the class cannot wait for tardy students. We require that students arrive in their destination country by our designated meeting time to ensure that they join the class at the specified time and location.
- What are the travel dates for Earth Expeditions courses? How long does the travel portion of each course last?
Please see each individual course webpage for specific dates for the in-country field portion of the course — Amazon, Australia, Baja, Belize, Brazil, Borneo, Costa Rica, Galápagos, Guyana, Hawai’i, India, Kenya, Mongolia, Namibia, Paraguay, and Thailand. All Earth Expeditions students will also be part of their course’s Web-Based Learning Community from April to early December.
The field portion of each Earth Expeditions course lasts 9 or 10 days. Students traveling long distances should plan to add an addition 1 or 2 days of travel to this timeframe.
- What are the accommodations like during the international experience?
Please see Admissions page
- What is the approximate cost of airfare for Earth Expeditions international courses?
Airfare costs change frequently. To estimate fares to any of our locations, interested applicants may wish to visit an online fare finder (such as Travelocity, Expedia, or Orbitz), or call a travel agent. Bear in mind that airlines have seasonal fluctuations in fares and many factors may influence your final airfare pricing. Earth Expeditions allows you the option of flying on your own, and not as a group, to assist you in saving on airfare costs. Following acceptance, you will receive details on your instructors’ flights should you be interested in finding a similar airline itinerary.
- What about visas/passports/travel insurance/other Earth Expeditions trip details?
If you are accepted to an Earth Expeditions course, you will be provided with a wealth of information you’ll need to travel abroad with the program. Miami University requires that students traveling outside the U.S. purchase travel insurance, which costs about $28, and carry a valid passport. But again, if you’re accepted to a course, you’ll be provided with all the necessary information.
For information about passports, visas, travel advisories, and other detailed travel information, check out the U.S. State Department’s Web site at www.state.gov/travel/.
To access information about traveler’s health and vaccines, take a look at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Web site at www.cdc.gov and under the heading “Health and Safety Topics,” click on “Travelers’ Health” or “Vaccines & Immunizations.”
- Can I apply my Earth Expeditions course credits to a master’s degree program?
Yes, you can apply up to 7 Earth Expeditions credits toward a Master of Arts in Biology (MA) or a Master of Arts in Teaching in the Biological Sciences (MAT) at Miami University.
- Do you offer a master’s degree program?
Yes, Project Dragonfly and Miami University’s Department of Biology have partnered to offer the Global Field Program (GFP) master’s degree where you can choose to enroll in either a Master of Arts in Biology (MA) or a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in the Biological Sciences. For more information, visit our Global Field Program web page.
- Will I receive a letter grade? Would it be possible for me to audit an Earth Expeditions course or take it Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit?
Earth Expeditions courses are taken for a letter grade and cannot be taken on a non-credit or pass/fail basis. Earth Expeditions students must complete both the summer and fall parts of the course: the international field experience and work within the Web-Based Learning Community. Earth Expeditions participants’ final grades are based both on the field and Web-based portions of the course.
- How many graduate credit hours will I receive for completing this course?
Students earn 7 graduate credit hours upon successful completion of each Earth Expeditions course, which includes a 5-credit hour summer plus a 2-credit hour fall registration and payment component. Please also see Admissions.
- Will this Earth Expeditions class count toward my teaching licensure/certification?
It depends. Each state has different requirements for certification. Please check with your state’s Department of Education or your local university’s College of Education or similar department to find out the details for your area.
- How much do Earth Expeditions courses cost?
2019 5-credit hour field course (in-country + Web): $2,750 + Airfare. Some courses include additional course costs, which are noted under “Course Details” on the individual course webpage.
2019 2-credit hour project course (Web, required): $600
Tuition and all basic expenses in the field are covered in the course costs, including:
- Meals (incidental snacks and drinks not included)
- Field station fees
- Field equipment (as needed)
- Ground transportation (van, boat, train, etc., as needed)
- Park entrance and guide fees
- Course reader
Course costs do not cover personal expenses, such as gifts, or some ancillary costs, such as passport fees, entry fees and course texts. Certain courses also carry with them an additional cost for in-country travel; where applicable, this is noted on the individual course webpage.
Miami University also requires all international workshop participants to purchase travel health insurance for about $30. (Successful applicants will receive more details in their Web-Based Learning Communty course workshop.) In some classes an additional textbook is required. In some countries, you may have to pay entrance and departure taxes/fees at the airport.
Once you arrive with the class in-country, you will have no additional charges for hotel, food, or transportation. You are responsible for purchasing incidentals and gifts, and for tipping at your discretion.
- Is financial aid available?
To support involvement by a broad range of individuals worldwide, Miami University currently offers a reduced tuition rate for all Dragonfly classes.
Dragonfly recommends that accepted applicants to the program check with their employer to see if professional development funds are available to further offset costs.
- What if I am unable to attend my Earth Expeditions course?
If you decide you cannot participate in an Earth Expeditions course after registering, to receive a refund from Miami University of Tuition only (Administrative and Program fees are non-refundable), you must drop the course by submitting your request to https://prototype.wufoo.com/forms/request-to-dragonfly-graduate-committee/ no later than 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard time on the last business day before the course start date. After this time, tuition is non-refundable.
- What is a “Web-Based Learning Community”?
As a feature of every Earth Expeditions course, students join their colleagues and instructors in Dragonfly Workshops’ Web-Based Learning Community. Topics, discoveries, and ideas that arise from face-to-face encounters within your Earth Expeditions experience are extended through semester-long learning communities on the Web. From home or work, and on their own schedule, students interact with each other and with Earth Expeditions instructors in a seminar-style discussion in this collaborative Web-Based Learning Community. For a few hours a week, students discuss course assignments, develop and present projects, and exchange ideas on the Web.
To get an overview of the Web platform, visit www.dragonflyworkshops.org.
- What is the AZA Professional Development Certificate Program?
Miami University’s Project Dragonfly partnered with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to expand AZA’s professional development opportunities, and in March 2013, Project Dragonfly with Miami University became an official AZA Learning Partner. Until September 2019, a suite of Dragonfly’s graduate courses counted toward earning a Certificate in AZA’s Professional Development Program. Although AZA is no longer accepting applications to the certificate program, Dragonfly remains an AZA Learning Partner, which AZA defines as a “high-quality resource for career development opportunities.” The AZA is exploring how to continue the Learning Partner program to keep sharing quality professional development opportunities with their membership.
Zoo and aquarium professionals looking for additional training opportunities may visit the AZA’s website to learn more about additional courses, webinars, and conferences that can help enrich their careers. Interested professionals can learn more at the AZA Professional Development page.
- May I contact someone directly?
If you can’t find your answers on the Earth Expeditions Web site or here in the FAQs, please feel free to email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Project Dragonfly‘s main office at 513.529.8576.
- Who is teaching the Earth Expeditions courses?
Click here to see brief biographies about each of our core faculty members.
- How do the graduate courses accommodate students with disabilities?
Student Disability Services (SDS) at Miami University provides a number of reasonable accommodations and resources to support Dragonfly master’s students who have disabilities. To learn more visit Miami’s Student Disability Services website.