Skip to main content


SCU Student Sean Reilly '16 Wins Student Research Award

Sean Reilly '16, Environmental Studies and Biology major, was awarded the Distinguished Student Research Award abroad by the School for Field Studies (SFS) for his research project, Keeping it real: Preserving authenticity in Indigenous cultural tourism, which he completed while studying abroad on the Tropical Rainforest Studies Program during Fall 2015 in Queensland, Australia.  Reilly's research found that indigenous tourism has the potential to strengthen Aboriginal communities and help them to overcome welfare dependency, but must be implemented intelligently to prevent cultural modification.  Reilly's SFS advisor Dr. Justus Kithiia says that his presentation "demonstrated a high level ability to synthesize and communicate research findings to different audiences," including aboriginal tourism operators who can use the information to strike a balance between preserving cultural integrity and maintaining economic stability.

Outcomes of the research provide information and recommendations to community members and other stakeholders on critical, local environmental issues.  


Students are nominated by SFS faculty based on their research design, field work, reporting and their contribution to the Center's five year plan.  SFS Dean of Academic Programs, Dr. Mark Seifert, and Assistant Dean, Dr. Meghan Graham MacLean, presented the award this spring with a nomination from the students' DR advisors.  Read more...