Dr. Stephen Dinsmore
Dr. Stephen J. Dinsmore, Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, has been leading study abroad programs since 2006.
When did you start leading programs?
- First program was spring break 2006 to Costa Rica
What programs have you led?
- Natural History courses to Antarctica (2), Costa Rica (6), Madagascar (1), and Tanzania (1).
Why do you lead programs?
- I really enjoy traveling, and participating in study abroad programs is one way to share that with ISU students. Seeing the reactions of students who have never traveled internationally is especially rewarding.
What would you say to faculty that are considering leading a program?
- Just do it! It can be a lot of work, but every study abroad experience of mine has been incredibly rewarding. And there are lots of resources in CALS to help with the planning and logistics, so that part of a travel course isn’t too much of a burden on faculty.
What have you learned by leading programs?
- I’ve certainly gained a broader perspective on global natural resource challenges through my participation in study abroad. I’ve also learned a lot about myself – how to interact with students in an outdoor setting, better communication skills, etc.
What has been your favorite program that you have led?
- A difficult choice, but probably Antarctica simply because the scenery is breathtaking and it is such a remote area.
What has been most memorable about leading a program?
- Seeing students’ reactions to new ecosystems and wildlife is always rewarding. I have also enjoyed seeing new places that I might not have otherwise visited.
What do you like to do in your free time?
- Lots of outdoor activities including bird-watching, hiking, photography, fishing, and hunting, and spending time with my family.
Is there a place that you would like to lead a program, but haven’t?
- Churchill, Manitoba (Polar Bears) and the Galapagos Islands immediately come to mind.
Why should students study abroad?
- In a nutshell, it is a life-changing experience for most students.