Environmental Science

‘Witness first-hand the outstanding natural and cultural landscapes of the Irish midlands, through direct field experience of its natural habitats and cultural sites’

The Irish Heritage School (IHS) offer a unique Environmental Science Program that provides a practical introduction to all aspects of the natural and cultural heritage of the Irish landscape, equipping the student with skills and understanding that can subsequently be applied to interpreting the landscape of any part of the world. At the heart of the program is the students’ direct field experience of the natural habitats and cultural sites they will visit and become acquainted with. All fieldwork is supplemented by microscope/laboratory work (as well as independent research), with expert lectures and seminars presented in advance of each phase of the study.

The program is based in the stunning Heritage Town of Birr, County Offaly – a hidden gem set against the majestic backdrop of the peatlands of midland Ireland and the quiet beauty of the Slieve Bloom Mountains (just 90 minutes from Dublin).  Participants are housed in home-stay accommodation; home-stay is the preferred accommodation type of IHS as it supports opportunities for cultural exchange and immersion, all the while brining tangible benefits to the communities of the provincial towns that host our programs.

On successful completion of the Program, students will:

  • have a working knowledge of the Irish flora that will provide a solid foundation for the study of the flora of other parts of the world;
  • be familiar with the orders of terrestrial and aquatic fauna;
  • be acquainted with plant communities and the basic techniques of vegetation survey;
  • be familiar with an outline of the cultural heritage of Ireland;
  • have a good understanding of the basic elements of solid and glacial geology and geological mapping;
  • have become familiar with the ecology of the principal natural habitats of central and western Ireland and their characteristic flora and fauna: woodland, peatlands (fen, raised and blanket bog), karst and limestone pavement, grasslands and freshwater aquatic habitats;
  • be acquainted with the basic principles of biological monitoring;
  • be acquainted with the environmental challenges of the contemporary world; in particular, those that relate to climate change – agriculture, food and water, and biodiversity; and
  • have undertaken an exercise in writing about the environment for a wider audience.

Our Environmental Science Programs typically include:

  • Four weeks tuition – designed and delivered by a leading academic in their field;
  • Homestay accommodation and most meals;
  • Airport transfers;
  • Field trips, experiential workshops and lectures;
  • Full laboratory access;
  • Welcome/project pack;
  • Pre-departure advising and application assistance;
  • In-country orientation and welcome event; and
  • 24/7 in-country support team.

(Not Included: Airfare and spending money)

Environmental Science Program Fees

Our Environmental Science programs are to some extent bespoke and cater individually for institutions based on their budget and desired length of stay. If you wish to discuss an individual program/fee, please contact us.

Application

Our Environmental Science Programs operate in the summer months (as the climate dictates the work that can be undertaken).  Typically, we ask for a minimum of six months’ notice to confirm details of any Environmental Science Program.

For further information, you can print our Environmental Science Information Flyer, or for general inquiries please contact us.