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New Zealand Fulbright scholar visits Green River study abroad students


Galbraith teaches his Green River students about plant colonization on Rangitoto, a volcano on Auckland Harbor.

Fulbright scholar and New Zealand Unitec University professor Mel Galbraith visited Green River's former study abroad students to lecture about Kiwi birds on April 16.

The students met Galbraith during their study abroad experience to Australia and New Zealand. Students earn 15 credits covering "down under" history, cultural studies and biology during the 10 week trip.

Galbraith teaches the group biology, traveling across the island with his pupils on their trips through the mountains, on ferries and to wildlife sanctuaries. Galbraith traveled to Washington state and has speaking engagements at many notable Washington colleges scheduled, but made time to stop at Green River to visit his former students and lecture about New Zealand birds.

"Visiting Green River is fantastic," said Galbraith. "It absolutely lives up to the stories. What a beautiful and aptly named campus!"

Many of his students attended his lecture, and a group of them met up with him at the Tech Center coffee stand after the talk.

"At the end of study-abroad, your teachers are like your friends because you spend so much time with them," said Kristen Moerdyk, who participated in this year's study abroad and attended the on-campus talk. "It was a really interesting talk, and it brought me right back to the trip."  

"This is true integrated study," says Dr. Bruce Haulman, who has been leading the trip for the last 14 years. "The trip is like immersion language. No matter what we do, we're learning."