BIO922 – Field Studies

Elephants: Culture and Conservation in Thailand

A special web-blended course to be offered Spring of 2020

  • Online class: January 13 – April 1, 2020
  • Thailand service trip: March 13–22, 2020

The online course ensures that everyone is properly prepared for the trip, including paperwork, passports, visas, packing lists, and cultural expectations.


Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand

Elephant Nature Park is a unique project set in Chiang Mai province, Northern Thailand. Established in the 1990’s our aim has always been to provide a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants. The park is located some 60km from the city, and has provided a sanctuary for dozens of distressed elephants from all over Thailand.

What will we do in Thailand? 

Elephant Nature Park  in ThailandEach day volunteers help prepare the elephants food, have the satisfaction of feeding them and the moving experience of watching the delight they have bathing in the river. This is all against a backdrop of witnessing how they behave in their natural habitat. During the stay, volunteers witness the challenges facing elephant conservation in Thailand and the part that this project plays in the preservation of their herd.

Elephant volunteer’s activities include some or all of the following:

  • Meeting with the staff and mahouts
  • Experience elephant families and how they choose friends
  • Find out about the problems facing elephants in Thailand today
  • Discover how Elephant Nature Park is helping
  • Feed elephants, scoop elephant poo, and a variety of other tasks concerned with elephant care
  • Cleaning and preparing elephant food
  • Construction, maintaining mud pits, helping in local villages, walking elephants
  • Caring for dogs and other refuge animals

Total Cost: $2,300 per student for travel costs

  • Includes 2 DMACC credits for the online course and in-country instruction
  • Passports, occasional meals, and spending money is NOT included in the fees
  • Full payment with proof of passports is required by January 13, 2020
  • The travel fee is non-refundable after January 13, 2020