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BEMIDJI -- When asked if he would be comfortable with the thought of camping outdoors during an eight-week summer field study program, BSU junior-to-be Jordan Morgan had to laugh.

Morgan, an environmental studies major from St. Peter, will be joining two dozen other college students from across the country to participate in the University of Washington's Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program. Morgan was selected from a field of 400 following a highly competitive application process. He and the other scholars will travel to Seattle and begin an eight-week "classroom in the field" journey to explore conservation across urban, managed and protected environments and connect conservation to cultural heritage and environmental justice. The program includes all travel costs, insurance and room and board expenses, and also includes a weekly $500 stipend.

The program opens with a three-week exploration of Seattle, with an emphasis on examining the city's biodiversity, food, water and climate. From there, the program moves to Washington's Olympic Peninsula, followed by a week at the North Cascades Institute, a week at The Nature Conservancy's Moses Coulee Field Station, and a week at the Pack Forest Experimental Station near Mt. Rainier National Park and at Mt. St. Helens National Park.

"Right now, I'm a Bemidjian -- that's what I know and what I've been learning, and that's great," Morgan said. "But I have been trying to get a little bit more of a global perspective, and actually getting out there into a completely different environment will give that to me.

"I'm hoping to learn from other people. All of the other scholars got accepted, so it means they must be doing amazing things in their own communities," he added. "I want to learn from them and see if I can apply what they're doing to this area -- especially if it's the kind of thing not already being done here."