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Recreation, Conservation, and Wildlife in National Parks

This program includes pre-program orientation meetings on the Texas State University campus in the spring 2022 semester, will meet for class on the Texas State University campus during the 2022 summer semester, and will also include a fourteen-day field trip to study biology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho in June 2022.

Big bend national park.

What Students Will Learn

Courses center on the interaction of wildlife and recreational activities. Anthropogenic activities create impacts on wildlife and wildlife environments, but at the same time not allowing people to enjoy wild environments decreases support for their protection. Also, the conservation of large mammals within the context of National Parks is a central issue for this group of animals. At the end of the program, students will not only have a strong theoretical background for conservation, but will also be immersed in current and relevant examples of these situations.

This program exposes students to real-life scenarios of the impact of human recreational activities in wildlands. There is a growing trend for outdoor recreation activities, which demand an increase in management practices related to these wildlands. A large part of the course will cover the issues associated with conservation of natural parks. Students will see, in-person, the problems and successes at these areas.


Summer 2022 Term: May 31 - July 1, 2022

Program Travel: June 13 - 26, 2022

Course Meetings: Throughout the term

Orientation Meetings:

  • May 12, 2022
  • May 30, 2022

Course Options 

BIO 4304

Wildlife and Recreation: Impact Management and Policy

CRN 52443
BIO 4324 Natural History and Conservation of Large Mammals (undergraduate) CRN 52444
BIO 5304

Wildlife and Recreation: Impact Management and Policy

CRN 52445
BIO 5324 Natural History and Conservation of Large Mammals (graduate) CRN 52446

Important:  To ensure your place in this program, you must complete the program application and then receive approval from Dr. Castro-Arellano.

Students Applying for Graduate Courses

Applicants interested in enrolling in a 5000-level or above extension course who are not Texas State graduate students must first contact the Texas State Graduate College. This step must be completed before registration can be finalized into a graduate-level course.

Tuition and Program Fee

3 Hours (1 Course) Undergraduate $922.08
6 Hours (2 Courses) Undergraduate $1,844.16
3 Hours (1 Course) Graduate $1,072.08
6 Hours (2 Courses) Graduate $2,144.16

Additional Program Fee

The additional program fee includes park admission, group meals, camping fees, and transportation: $1,100.

Important Note: Personal meals and personal expenses are not included in the Program Fee. 

The course tuition and program fee is billed and paid through SBS Billing and Payment.

Drops and Refunds

All university policies regarding installments, course drops, and refunds apply to all billed and paid tuition and program fees.

Important COVID-19 Information

All participants in Texas State Study in America programs adhere to the health guidelines in the Texas State University Roadmap, including the Health and Safety Measures and Student Roadmap page. The guidelines provided for protecting health and safety on campus also apply to field locations and travel in this Study in America program.

The field/travel portion of the program is subject to change and/or cancellation. If the field portion of the program is canceled, Study in America, in collaboration with the academic departments and program providers, will make every effort to develop online, virtual field experiences as alternatives to the field/travel experiences. If instruction continues with virtual field experiences, Texas State Study in America will refund or discount the additional program fee (not course tuition).

Texas State will not be able to provide refunds for canceled airline tickets, nor purchase new return airline tickets, should students be required to return home earlier than originally planned. Students are strongly encouraged to purchase flexible and fully refundable tickets as well as Cancellation For Any Reason (CFAR) travel insurance.

National Parks Requirements

Masking requirements in the National Parks will vary by park based on local conditions; however, masks are still required on all forms of enclosed public transportation. In areas CDC identifies as high COVID-19 community level, masks are required for everyone in all NPS buildings regardless of vaccination status. In most low and medium COVID-19 community level areas, masks are optional, but visitors should follow signs and instructions from park staff and volunteers.

Applying to the Program

  1. Complete and submit the program application
  2. Complete and submit the Approval Request to Travel during an Ongoing Pandemic form immediately after submitting the program application
  3. Receive approval from Dr. Castro-Arellano and the Office of Distance and Extended Learning
  4. Register for your program's courses

Registering for Courses

After applying for and being accepted into the program, you must also register for your courses through the Student Information System/CatsWeb during the regular university registration period.

For more information about the content of the program, please contact Dr. Ivan Castro-Arellano.

For questions about applying/registering, please contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning.