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  • Locations: Brisbane, Australia
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
 Location Brisbane, Australia
Exploration Seminar
August 21 - September 16, 2016
 Estimated    Program Fee $5,700
 Credits 5 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Frederick R. (Fritz) Stahr; Anill Rick Rupan; Stephanie Gardner; Cathryne Jordan
 Program Manager Katherine Kroeger |
 Application    Deadline March 31, 2016
 Information  Session(s) TBD. Contact Program Director for more information.
  General A summer undergraduate autonomous robotic and oceanography research experience in the outback and eco-systems of Australia.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships

Program Description

The program will take place at Queensland University of Technology, Garden Point Campus (Brisbane, Australia). This course will explore the use of autonomous and robotic underwater vehicles in the littoral, benthic and pelagic ocean environment on the coast of Australia. Students will be exposed to the use of AUVs, ROVs, and other scientific instruments that collect scientific data for research into the marine ecosystems that support the Australian continent. Students will learn basic programming, robot operation, data collection, analysis, and presentation skills. Experiments will be carried out both in a laboratory setting and on site at the Moreton Bay Research Station, owned by the University of Queensland. The laboratory and fieldwork in the course will expose students to the similarities and differences in technology between their home culture and government and the Australian culture and government. The experience of operating an autonomous vehicle will provide a truly unique experience in the realities of the current and future capabilities of technology relative to the health of an essential world ecosystem.

Planned social activities, including field trips to additional ecosystems such as Lady Elliot Island and research labs such as CSIRO and Boeing, as well as direct interaction with local student population in STEM fields at QUT, will provide additional perspective on the use of technology in monitoring and aiding in the health of world ecosystems.

We anticipate that the exchange of learning and culture will be bi-directional with the students in the program learning about the Australian ecosystems and technology as well as the local communities learning about the breadth of STEM interest among under-represented minority populations in the US. We expect the students will provide the local community with a lasting positive impression of the future direction of technology education in the US.



Brisbane, Australia


Great Barrier Reef (Lady Elliot Island), Springbrook National Park, , Fraser Island, CSIRO Lab, and Morton Bay.


For the 2016 program, will be residing at Quest Kelvin Grove located at the QUT Kelvin Grove Campus; which is approximately 15 miles or so from the QUT Garden Point Campus. QUT provides a courtesy shuttle for students between the two campus and housing. Students by gender share an apartment which has TV, kitchen facilities and all utilities included. Internet connection is included in the rental cost, Coin laundry facilities are provided in the units and available on site at a minimum cost to the students. Housing is within a 2 or 3 block walking distance to grocery stores and restaurants. In walking distance of QUT by approximately 30 minutes. In addition to the FREE campus shuttle, access to public transportation is located two blocks from the apartments. Program staff reside on same property in individual and separate apartments and are on call 24 hours. The web link to the Quest Kelvin Grove is Payment covered in the program cost.



Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

The majority of students will be recruited from STEM disciplines. The program is also open to all STEM affiliated majors such as Anthropology, Business, International Studies, Education, CHID, etc. Students will demonstrate global awareness, display a strong desire to learn outside of the classroom, and pursue undergraduate research. Priority will be given to undergraduate students whose academic standing is at a sophomore level and above, preferably in their STEM major, and have taken at least one diversity related course.

We do not see any specific course prerequisites. However, we are looking to recruit STEM students who are open-minded, positive, and excited to learn in a new and challenging environment. Students who are excited about experiential learning in a global context are ideal candidates for this program.

Taking into consideration location of residence and field trips, the students tend to walk to and from QUT and around the city. For those who choose to commute by bus. Passes are made available. Tours through the rainforest and islands and industry tours will include a lot of walking.


5 Credits


AA 498 or OCEAN 499 (5 credits): Autonomous Systems in Support of Global Ecosystems

This course will explore the use of autonomous and robotic underwater vehicles in the littoral, benthic and pelagic ocean environment on the coast of Australia. Students will be exposed to the use of AUVs, ROVs, and other scientific instruments that collect scientific data for research into the marine ecosystems that support the Australian continent. Experiments will be carried out both in a laboratory setting and on site at the Moreton Bay Research Station, owned by the University of Queensland.

Learning Goals: 

Students will learn basic programming, robot operation, data collection, analysis, and presentation skills. Team-work is also very important. Skills and work-product will be assessed through graded assignments in class/lab sections, as well as a final written project report and presentation. Student teams will be assessed on overall collaborative abilities as well as final project presentations.

Program Directors & Staff

Frederick R. (Fritz) Stahr, Department of Oceanography, Program Director

Dr. Stahr manages the Seaglider Fabrication Center at the UW’s School of Oceanography, making autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) driven by buoyancy ( Prior to starting SFC in 2005, he taught oceanography and did post-doctoral research on seafloor hydrothermal vent heat-flux using a large AUV from Woods Hole (ABE). He co-founded the Ocean Inquiry Project in 2000, a small non-profit organization dedicated to teaching marine science through on-the-water experience while conducting research in Puget Sound to the benefit of both communities ( He holds a Ph.D. in Oceanography from UW and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. In his spare time, he helps run the MATE Pacific Northwest Regional ROV Challenge, the regional National Ocean Science Bowl (“Orca Bowl”), serves on the Executive Committee of the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), as well as continuing to help run Ocean Inquiry Project.

Anill Rick Rupan, Department of Oceanography, Program Director

Mr. Rupan is a research engineer in the UW’s School of Oceanography where he manages the day-to-day operations of the Argo and SOCCOM profiling float programs ( ; He started his career in ocean technology working with floats and gliders at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He has taught and developed classes for Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth as well as the Children’s School of Science in Woods Hole, MA.

Stephanie Gardner, Department of OMAD, Program Co-Director

Cathryne Jordan, Department of Engineering, Program Co-Director


Program Expenses

Cost: $5,700

Estimated Program Fee of $5,700, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($325), airfare, food (about $25/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,600 - $2,000* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $325 October 14, 2016
Program Fee Balance $5,700 October 14, 2016


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, one to two faculty recommendations, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $325 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.