Round River Conservation Studies - Mongolia Conservation Program

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Round River offers a field-based study abroad program in the mountains of northern Mongolia. Students will conduct wildlife research in protected areas, assisting the Mongolian Wolverine Project with multi-species carnivore monitoring. Initially t... read more

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Based on 10 Reviews
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Overall Experience
The program was so thoughtful and the hands on experience, people, and location was unbeatable. If you are interested in conservation and care about ethical and responsible international work, this is one of the best programs. Also, the parks there are great to partner with and really made our work and classes successful and mea... - University of Vermont View Entire Review
I learned a lot about the conservation efforts of the Taku River Tlingit (in congruence with Round River). I gained a new perspective on conservation and the importance of protecting wild and untouched places. - Carleton College View Entire Review
I gained experience with wildlife monitoring techniques, the research experience, backpacking, camping, and travelling abroad. The program was definitely worthwhile and I highly recommend it. - SUNY - College of Environmental Science & Forestry View Entire Review
While in Mongolia, I learned a lot about the culture, conservation, and myself. I saw what real, meaningful research looked like, and I felt like we were really making a difference in the national park. I learned about the type of relationships the Mongolian people have with each other and the environment. It was very inspiring,... - Saint Michael's College View Entire Review
I learned job-applicable ecological skills by actually doing fieldwork outside of a classroom. - Westminster College, UT View Entire Review
I learned how to be a naturalist, I learned a ton about the nuances of conservation work, I learned how to examine my own culture in comparison to other cultures, and I learned a lot about how I want to live my life and what kind of life I want. I also made such close friends! - Williams College View Entire Review
We nailed field work, designed full fledged research projects and successfully executed them. We learned about other lenses through which people view and interact with the land and that really changed my perspective. - University of Vermont View Entire Review
I would not take back any of the experiences I had during my semester (even the freezing cold nights and not showering for weeks). I could not have asked for a better opportunity for my first time abroad. I learned about field research techniques for various taxonomic groups, challenged myself academically and physically, critic... - SUNY - College of Environmental Science & Forestry View Entire Review
August 08, 2018 Trip Of A Lifetime
On the program, I not only learned immense amounts about environmental research and conservation, but also about Mongolian perspectives towards land and other people. It was extremely inspiring and I've returned to the states with a perspective towards relationships that I had not previously understood. - Carleton College View Entire Review
I learned a lot about field work, research, the Mongolian culture, and building interpersonal relationships. It was absolutely worthwhile. The classes were so immersive, it made it easy to grasp concepts and learn the material. - University of Vermont View Entire Review


Round River offers a field-based study abroad program in the mountains of northern Mongolia. Students will conduct wildlife research in protected areas, assisting the Mongolian Wolverine Project with multi-species carnivore monitoring. Initially the program will focus on the Ulaan Taiga Strictly Protected Area. Fieldwork will involve setting out a large number of camera traps and non-invasive hair snares over a wide area, and working with the Ulaan Taiga Protected Areas Administration (UTPAA) on study design, data management, and planning. The UTPAA has ongoing surveys of argali and ibex, but would like to expand to understanding the other ungulate populations; surveys on elk, roe deer, moose, musk deer, and wild reindeer are all needed. We will also explore activities with the communities, especially the children, as a way to talk about biodiversity and the value of parks and protected areas. The UTPAA is interested in developing a Junior Ranger program for local children and for visitors, modeled on the US National Park Service program. Beyond that, the field is wide open for social science research and outreach, as well as participatory planning and management practices.

This program provides an incredible opportunity to experience the vast landscapes and biodiversity of Mongolia. Operating from Round River’s base camp in the Darhad Valley, students will spend their time assisting our partners in remote mountainous regions of Mongolia. Field sites will be accessed by vehicle, horse, and by foot. Students should be prepared for hiking, backpacking, and an adventure of a lifetime.

Past projects include:

  • Assessing Camera Trapping Methodology for Species Occupancy

  • Camera Trapping Wild Boar in Northern Mongolia: What Affects Wild Boar Occupancy?

  • Waterfowl Migration in the Darhad Valley, Northern Mongolia

  • Habitat and Food Preferences of Daurian Pika (Ochotona Dauurica) 

  • Occupancy and Habitat Characteristics of the Siberian Musk Deer (Moschus moschiferus)

  • Occupancy and Human Pressures on Cervus canadensis sibiricus

  • Predicting Pika Density within the Darhad Valley

  • Vansemberuu of the Horidol Saridag: Baseline research and establishing long term monitoring of Saussurea dorogostaiskii in its Northern Mongolian range.

Courses taught include:

  • Applied Conservation Biology

  • Introduction to Biological Field Methods

  • Natural History of Patagonia

  • Applied Restoration Ecology

  • Humans and the Environment

Program Type(s):
Study Abroad
Program Length(s):
  • Fall
  • Summer
Instruction Language(s):
  • English
Relevant Study Subject(s):
  • Natural Resources, Conservation
  • Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Environmental Studies
  • Zoology, Animal Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution Biology
  • Sustainability Studies
Minimum GPA:
Year Founded:
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Round River Conservation Studies Scholarships

Round River offers scholarships to students through our Edward Abbey Scholarship Fund. Edward Abbey was a friend to many and an inspiration to all associated with Round River. Ed’s family has graciously agreed that we may use his name in this manner. We are committed to involving dedicated and qualified students in our conservation projects and we will work with you to facilitate your application and financial needs. Financial assistance to qualified students from Round River is available from the Edward Abbey Scholarship Fund.


Students should submit an application for the Edward Abbey Scholarship within 3 weeks of paying their deposit to be considered.

Scholarship applications will not be considered unless a student has applied for a Round River program and has all application materials in. Special arrangements may be made for extended scholarship application deadlines, only if a student has contacted Round River well in advance of the deadline.


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