The Natural History of Western Ireland


Ireland Photo 5

In June 2018, the BCU Biology Department will offer a 3-credit field experience focusing on the regional geology and native habitats of Western Ireland where the wild places in counties Kerry, Clare, and Galway are especially attractive. The region affords opportunity to study limestone barrens, blanket bogs, rugged ocean coasts, and isolated islands. Furthermore, the cultural context of these sites will provide a foundation for the study tour. 

Intended highlights of the trip include:

  • the Skellig Islands, famous for their isolation as a 1500- year-old monastic site and now a wildlife haven
  • Dublin
  • Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands 

Evening discussions will supplement the daily field trips. Anticipated housing will be self- catered condominiums near Kenmare and apartments at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Tentative Trip Itinerary


  • Wednesday, June 6: Flight to Shannon, Ireland. Arrive June 7.
  • Kenmare: June 7 - 10. Intended destinations include the Skellig Islands, Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park.
  • Sunday, June 10: Church services and transition to Galway.
  • Galway: June 10  - 16/ Intended destinations include The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, a day trip to Dublin, museums and other sights, and Inishmore.
  • Saturday, June 16: Return flight to the States.

For more information, download the trip itinerary (PDF).

Course Credit


This trip satisfies the requirements for the following courses: BIOL/ESCI 280 or LIBA 420.

You'll participate in field excursions, keep a log of daily activities and complete assignments based on observations. Evening discussions will supplement the daily field trips. Grading will be based on one exam, the trip log, post-trip assignments and participation. 

Cost Inclusions


Estimated cost for the trip ($4300) includes flight, car rental, lodging, food, and summer tuition for full- time Briar Cliff students. A $2000 deposit is required by Jan. 26, 2018, so air travel can be secured. Save $200 by paying the deposit by Dec. 11.

How To Apply


Apply for the trip or ask questions related to the trip by contacting the Department of Biology.

Brochure (pdf) Contact us

Trip Dates

June 6-16, 2018

Trip Location

Ireland

Trip Advisor

Brian Hazlett
Brian T. Hazlett
Professor of Biology; Chair, Biology Department; Director, Environmental Science Program; Director, Center for Prairie Studies
712-279-5495
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