Summer 2000 Environmental Exchange Program


From mid June until the end of August 2000 the Tahoe-Baikal Institute (TBI) will hold its tenth annual environmental exchange program. Up to 20 students from North America, Russia, and other areas of the world will come together for ten weeks to explore topics in ecology and limnology, environmental restoration and planning, cultural preservation, public policy, and resource economics at two of the world's most unusual freshwater lakes--Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia, and Lake Tahoe in California. The program is designed for upper-division undergraduate and graduate students, and young professionals with environmental interests.

Lake Baikal

The first five weeks of the program will take place in and around the Lake Baikal region of Siberia, where the participants will learn from environmental officials, researchers, regional activists, and local residents about environmental protection in Russia. To meet with these specialists the group will visit Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, and towns and villages near the lake...

Lake Tahoe

The group will then travel to the Tahoe region, where students will get acquainted with regulatory, scientific, and community approaches to protecting threatened natural areas from human disturbance. Participants will meet with environmental decision-makers and experts, attend guest lectures and panel discussions, conduct field research, and participate in two-week team projects sponsored by environmental agencies and organizations such as the University of California's Tahoe Research Group...

The group will also have a chance to help directly in preserving the Tahoe Basin through site restoration and hands-on projects supervised by the California Tahoe Conservancy and the California Conservation Corps. The program includes cultural events and field trips to some of the major natural resource areas of Northern California--in the past Yosemite National Park and the Mono Basin Natural Scenic Area.


The two-week projects are the main vehicle for TBI participants to apply their skills and gain new knowledge in hands-on practical work. On each side of the program, we will hold 3-6 projects in various fields sponsored by local organizations... For detailed descriptions of our past projects and the projects planned for 2000, please check the TBI web site


Each year, TBI participants with various educational, cultural, and social backgrounds are chosen to take part in the summer program to exchange views on environmental issues and explore opportunities in the environmental field. After participation in TBI, many participants remain active not only in the environment, but also in planning and assisting with TBI activities. Some participants have helped each other to stay on in Russia or the U.S. after the program for internships with environmental organizations. A great many others have made contacts through TBI that later led to career opportunities.

Application Procedure and Program Arrangements

Up to eight participants from the United States and Canada and a similar number from Russia will be invited to join the 1999 program. We also hope to select 2-3 participants from other countries. Qualified upper-division undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, California Conservation Corpsmembers, and young professionals with environmental interests are invited to apply. Admission is competitive.

The program fee is $1,500 for each participant. This fee defrays only a small part of the total cost of the program--TBI covers all other costs. Limited scholarship assistance may be available in cases of special need. The program fee is waived for participants from countries of the former Soviet Union and Mongolia, and scholarship assistance will be available for applicants from some other countries. The program fee covers:

TBI will process visa applications for travel to Russia. Participants are asked to pay their own visa fees ($70 or up, according to the filing date). A program schedule including dates of international travel will be issued in March.

Participants should have a current passport by May 1, 2000 (necessary for visa processing).

Applicants should have a demonstrated commitment to the preservation of the natural environment, and background in one or more of the following areas:

All participants are expected to speak either English or Russian fluently and have some knowledge of the other language. Non-Russian speakers may satisfy the language requirement by completing an introductory language course or private tutoring in Russian, before the program. (Note: This requirement is to facilitate communication within the group. Translation will be provided at scheduled meetings and lectures, but not necessarily at all events during the program.)

For an application or for more information about the program, please contact us at:

P.O. Box 13587
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96151-3587
(530) 542-5599

Applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, February 15, 2000. (Note: Applications from non-U.S. applicants must be RECEIVED by Friday, February 18, 2000.)

All applicants should also arrange for two letters of reference and an official copy of college or university transcript(s), to be forwarded directly to TBI and postmarked no later than Tuesday, February 15, 2000.

Last updated:    January 2000

CCSI Home Announcements Eurasia Opinion/Analysis Bookstore Site Map Search
CCSI logo Center for Civil Society International
Ideas and information for civic action worldwide
CCSI logo