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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Faculty-led
Program Description:


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Yamuna River Study in India: From the Himalayas to the Taj Mahal | Faculty-led Program

The Yamuna River Study in India faculty-led course offers students interested in ecology, microbiology and/or public health the opportunity to travel to India to sample and study the holy Yamuna River. No prior experience is necessary. You will experience travel through the foothills of Indian Himalayas to the source of the Yamuna, a holy site to which hundreds of thousands of pilgrims travel every year. You will take a short but vigorous hike close to the source of the Yamuna river in the mountains. You will visit the famous forest Institute in Derhadun and visit the bird sanctuary at Bharatpur. By traveling downstream, following the Yamuna river, you will witness historically important ruins in New Delhi and other sites further downstream in Agra, including the majestic Taj Mahal. You will be immersed in a vastly different world that is composed of diverse Indian cultures and religions (Hindu and Sikh).

You will perform field work while in India. You will learn to sample a river in order to assay different parameters that reflect river health. You will learn about the effects of human activity on the river and how the state of the river affects the diversity of microorganisms that can grow in that microenvironment. We will focus on specific important parameters such as the levels of pH, oxygen, ammonia and phosphates. Careful analysis of the data may lead to an understanding of how certain human activity can increase or decrease these parameters which may consequently lead to a difference in the microbe populations. Specific learning exercises will include field sampling/analysis, guided excursions, class presentations, and interactions with guides at different sites. Assessments will include pre-trip assignments, short presentations, a daily field notebook/photo journal, and listening to online oral material.

There is only a moderate amount of walking however there will be two moderately difficult hikes early on. The longer of these hikes is approximately 10 km. You should be able to hike at a moderate pace for several hours uphill and then back downhill. We will take water breaks when necessary. Temperatures will be elevated during the day; however the hotels/buses are air-conditioned (except in the mountains where air-conditioning is usually not needed), and we will visit most places in the morning when the temperature is relatively moderate. The Bharatput bird and animal sanctuary will be experienced with rickshaws.

At least three pre-trip class meetings will take place prior to departure scheduled Saturday mornings at most a month from the date of departure. These classes are mandatory and will require some practice field sampling, readings and a short set of assignments.

PLEASE NOTE: Participation in this program requires a valid passport through at least November 22, 2022. If you do not have a valid passport or your passport is set to expire before this date, please apply for a passport immediately if you hope to participate in this program.

May 8-21, 2022

  • New Delhi
  • Derhadun
  • Paonta Sahib
  • Agra
BIOL 344 (3 credits) - pending approval as a GEP Goal 10 course

  • Open to all students interested in conservation, public health, ecology.
Introductory biology and/or sustainability and/or public health courses are preferred but not mandatory (e.g. BIOL 241/242/104).

  • Range from $5,400 - $6,200 depending on enrollment min/max.
  • The program cost includes: WSU tuition/fees for the 3-credit BIOL 427 course, roundtrip airfare, transportation throughout the duration of the program, most meals, all lodging, admission & event fees for group educational experiences, international health insurance for the duration of the time in India, Indian visa costs, and the Study Abroad Administrative Fee. 
  • The $500 deposit required as part of the program application is applied toward the final program cost. 
  • Dr. Osvaldo Martinez (
  • Dr. Tia Rai
Kathy Jicinsky, Assistant Director of Study Abroad for Faculty-led Programs 

  • February 1, 2022 at 4pm: Application Deadline. Complete applications and a $500 confirmation deposit are due to be considered for this program. Any application that remains incomplete will be withdrawn after this deadline. Students will be accepted on a rolling basis. Students will be interviewed prior to acceptance for the program. 
  • February 7, 2022: If you are accepted for the program and withdraw after this date you are financially responsible for the full cost of the program regardless of participation.
    • NOTE: This deadline is 90 days prior to the start of the program. As detailed in the Eligibility and Cancellation Policies document students must review and electronically sign as part of the application for this program, students may individually and independently purchase Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) insurance when planning for this study abroad program. Study Abroad will not advise on CFAR policies, nor endorse a particular company/policy. The WSU Study Abroad Cancellation Policies will be enforced uniformly regardless of a student’s purchase of CFAR insurance.   
  • April 17, 2022: Full payment for the program is due by this date. If you can show you have summer financial aid/private loans to cover your outstanding balance for the program, you will be allowed to participate even with a balance as of April 17, 2022.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2022 02/01/2022 ** Rolling Admission 05/08/2022 05/21/2022

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.