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Alumnus Luke Anderson, '07, Crookston, Minn., goes toThailand in Study Abroad Opportunity
February 11, 2008

Contact: Rae French, study abroad coordinator, 218-281-8339 (, Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (

Crookston, Minn. (February 8, 2008) – Luke Anderson, Crookston, Minn., a December
Anderson had an opportunity to work with the Huai Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
Anderson had an opportunity to work with the Huai Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.
2007 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, went to Thailand recently as part of a study abroad program, where he studied rapid ecological and conservation assessment techniques in the jungle.  

Only 15 students from the University of Minnesota were selected to go on the prestigious adventure and the U of M, Crookston was excited to have Anderson, a Natural Resources major, among the group. The 3-credit course is led by faculty from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Mahidol University and the staff of the Khao Nang Rum Wildlife Research Center in Thailand.

In a country of around 65 million people, Thailand is part of a global “biodiversity hotspot” and Anderson was part of an ongoing research project that began in 1989. Students who participated in the program had a chance to work closely with the long-term tiger conservation project in which the U of M is a principle partner. Students were involved with camera trapping techniques, prey assessment methods and radio-telemetry approaches to the study of large mammals.  

The international office at the U of M, Crookston was proud to have a student participating in the program who was challenged by the experience, satisfied by the outcome and learned more about global issues in a real-life environment.  “A goal of mine was to study abroad,” Anderson said. “I was honored to be included in an International Field Study Course to Thailand.”

Anderson was one of 15 U of M students chosen for the trip to Thailand.
Anderson was one of 15 U of M students chosen for the trip to Thailand.
The trip began by spending three days on a live-aboard barge where the students learned about the history and culture of Thailand. They were given a brief introduction to the language, to Buddhism and visited several important cultural areas. Several hours north of Bangkok, they learned about the landscape and wildlife of the central plains of Thailand, home to wild elephant herds, tigers, clouded leopards and gaur (a species of wild cattle).

During our time in the Huai Kha Kaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, which is closed to the general public, Anderson used skills he had studied his classes at the U of M, Crookston but had not used in the field. He learned camera trapping and sampling techniques for determining prey density for tigers.

“I traveled and worked one day with Thai people who didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Thai,” explains Anderson. “We were able to work together all day and communicate without speaking the same language. I tried to volunteer at every opportunity. Volunteering and working hard helped involve me in exciting new situations making for once in a lifetime experiences. I want to thank everyone who made this trip possible.”  

For more information on studying abroad at the U of M, Crookston, contact Rae French at 218-281-8339 (

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