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USC Dornsife Blog Directory

The Banda Arc Project in East Timor

Follow postdoctoral researcher Leland O’Driscoll as he travels to East Timor to study the earth processes of the Banda Arc, a string of islands in Indonesia, with geologists from the USC Dornsife Department of Earth Sciences.

USC Scientific Research Diving

This four-week experiential program offered to undergraduates takes place at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island and throughout Micronesia. Students investigate environmental issues such as ecologically sustainable development, fisheries management, protected-area planning and assessment, and human health issues. Students collect data to support conservation and management strategies to protect the fragile coral reefs of Guam, Palau and other Micronesian islands. Featured contributions are posted on's Expeditions blog.

Problems Without Passports in Belize

Undergraduates travel to Southern Belize as part of USC Dornsife’s Problems Without Passports. There they will study the Classic Maya Civilization, examining the clues left by the ancient peoples, as they try to decipher what caused their societal collapse over 1,000 years ago.

Spirits and Healers in Brazil

This four-week, medical anthropological Problems Without Passports course leads undergraduate students from Hollywood, Calif. to Brasilia, Abadiania and Rio, Brazil to examine Spiritist healers and their cosmology. Through participant observation students investigate why patients travel from around the globe to be treated by mediums who channel saints and deceased biomedical doctors. Students examine what is health, healing and curing from different theoretical perspectives.

Global Health at Oxford University

USC Dornsife students visited Oxford, England, through the Problems Without Passports course “Biological Sciences 428:The Biology of Tropical Diseases.” In the program, taught by the Oxford University faculty, students were introduced to the major diseases and risks to health in developing world countries; review the major prevention strategies and challenges for control of these diseases; examine policy issues and determinants of public health and health policy in international health; learn to situate health in its wider social, economic and political context; and much more.

Panoramic Perspectives

Maureen McCarthy is heading to Uganda for a year starting in September 2012 to study chimpanzee behavioral ecology and genetics in a fragmented forest habitat. Her project is unique because most field studies of chimpanzees have taken place in national parks and other protected areas, while my research will be conducted in a largely ignored but increasingly common habitat type: degraded and unprotected forest habitat.

Up the Andes, Back in Time

Paleontologist Kathleen Ritterbush travels to the Andes of Peru to look for fossil sponges as she completes research for her dissertation this year.

Global East Asia China

Global East Asia China is a scholarship summer study abroad program administered by the USC East Asian Studies Center. Made possible by a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, the program provides a small group of USC undergraduate students the opportunity to study abroad in Shanghai, China with all major expenses covered. At Fudan University they will take the course “Global China 1800 to the Present: The View from Shanghai and Beyond” taught by Brett Sheehan of history. The students will also travel extensively throughout China for a unique, intensive experience, shared through this blog.

America and the World: Japan Case Study

In May and June of 2014, USC Dornsife faculty and students are taking part in a month-long immersion program in Los Angeles and Japan to foster the understanding of social issues, culture and community. Participants begin the program with five intensive days in L.A. that include seminars and field trips in preparation for the two weeks in Japan. The two weeks in Japan are based in Tokyo with seminars, day trips and overnight trips outside of Tokyo. The program concludes with two days of debriefing in Los Angeles and final presentations at a retreat in August. Read the blog from the 2012 immersion program and the 2010 immersion program.

Global East Asia Japan

Global East Asia Japan is a scholarship summer study abroad program administered by the USC East Asian Studies Center. Made possible by a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, the program provides a small group of USC undergraduate students the opportunity to study abroad in Tokyo, Japan with all major expenses covered. At Meiji University they will take “Tokyo and Beyond: Global Forces and Economic Transformation” taught by Saori Katada of international relations. The students will also travel extensively throughout Japan for a unique, intensive experience, shared through this blog.

Global East Asia Korea

Global East Asia Korea is a scholarship summer study abroad program administered by the USC East Asian Studies Center. Made possible by a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation, the program provides a small group of USC undergraduate students the opportunity to study abroad in Seoul, Korea with all major expenses covered. At Ewha Womans University, they will take "Korean Cinemascapes" taught by Youngmin Choe of East Asian languages and cultures. The students will also travel extensively throughout Korea for a unique, intensive experience, shared through this blog.

Hunter Blatherer

Learn what life is like as an undergraduate archaeology student at USC. Current students blog about their studies overseas, field work, conferences, internships, classes and more.

Ecological Security and Global Politics

Students in International Relations 422 blog about their experiences as they explore the complex policy issues surrounding the Arctic. They will have one week of class study and three weeks of field work in Stockholm, Sweden, St. Petersburg, Russia and Helsinki-Rovaniemi, Finland.

The Amazon River Plume

USC Dornsife graduate student Michael Morando is sailing aboard the research vessel RV Atlantis to understand how the nutrients and organisms in the Amazon River plume influence the ocean. Morando and his colleagues are investigating how nitrogen is cycling and in turn, using that information to better understand the carbon cycle. Their goal is to determine whether the Amazon River plume, where the river empties into the ocean, is a source or a sink for carbon from the atmosphere. Here Morando will post dispatches from the research cruise along the Amazon River.

Discovering Ancient Empire

Students in Religion 495 blog as they travel and study in the Hatay region of Turkey, where they are exploring ancient sites and conducting hands-on excavation for four weeks in June 2012.

Natural History of Southern California

Students blogging from their Environmental Studies 495 Senior Seminar class focus on their study of the natural history of Southern California, the native organisms and threats of invasive species as well as the unique problems that we face. Over the course of the semester they will cover the Los Angeles River, the oil boom, municipal and agricultural water, Channel Islands biodiversity, and climate change. Students will take three field trips including spending a weekend on Catalina Island and a weekend in the interior of Santa Cruz Island.


.hub, a service of USC Dornsife Advising, was created to provide a place for USC Dornsife students, staff and faculty to share opportunities and events that will enrich the educational experience of our students and facilitate an informed and engaged college community.

North Pond Expedition 336

In mid-Septemberr, USC Dornsife geobiologist Katrina Edwards her team of researchers will embark on a journey into the Atlantic Ocean, where they will drill deep into the ocean floor and study the microbial communities found there. Edwards will send regular reports through's Expeditions blog and share her experiences, trials, tribulations and scientific findings. Read about their 2009 expedition.

Environmental Studies Catalina Island Internship

This internship was a partnership program between the USC Dornsife Environmental Studies Program, the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Catalina Island Conservancy. Four students spent a week at the Conservancy headquarters in Middle Ranch, where they were trained in the cultural and natural history of the island, and then worked on building an interpretive hiking trail, eradicating the invasive fennel in the area, working with the Conservancy at their greenhouse and nursery, and helping with restoration on other areas of the island.

USC Summer in Cambodia

USC students explored Cambodia as part of their Problems Without Passports course “International Relations 318: Conflict Resolution and Peace Research.” The course examined the politics of bringing the Khmer Rouge leadership to justice for the crimes they committed during their rule in Cambodia. Students attended trials and worked with local organizations to document the court procedures and the reactions of the citizens to what the tribunal is attempting to accomplish.

The Gamut

This multi-disciplinary blog written by MPW faculty and staff offers writing tips in multiple genres, book and stage/screen recommendations, writing exercises, reflections on being a working writer in L.A., and breaking opportunities.

The Ghana Fellows 2011: Reflections

Eight USC Dornsife students traveled to the central region of Ghana to serve as research fellows for Blue Kitabu, an organization that works with communities and community leaders to build educational infrastructure, needed business and markets, materials and teacher training for the most vulnerable populations. Students  participated in a farm-stay at the Asuansi Farm Institute to research agriculture, education and sustainable development. Elizabeth M. Barreras '07 is the co-founder and executive director of Blue Kitabu. Read more about the students' trip.


A behind-the-scenes look at a student-curated "intervention" into Four Rooms and a View: USC's Collection Highlights.

Armed with original research and innovative ideas, five undergraduates will re-curate the Fisher Museum’s current show, Four Rooms and a View: USC's Collection Highlights. Their resulting exhibition, re:View, is a thought-provoking reinterpretation of selected works in USC's permanent collection and presents new perspectives on traditional curatorial practice. re:View will be exhibited from March 27 through April 17, 2010 at the USC Fisher Museum.

Summer in Antarctica

Donal Manahan, founder of the program and director of the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies in USC Dornsife, and a small group of colleagues have been accompanying some of the world’s best young biologists to Antarctica since 1994. More than 200 faculty and students representing 30 nations have participated to date. Look over the shoulders of polar scientists as they study the marine life that surrounds Antarctica. One of the group’s biggest goals: learning to work in teams to understand and predict the reaction of living things to climate change.