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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Program Type: Faculty-led GPA Requirement: 2.5
Education Abroad Advisor: Mikaela Terry Click here for a definition of this term Language Prerequisite: None
Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Fields of Study: Sciences
Program Description:

NAU in Greece: The catastrophic eruption of Santorini Volcano

Santorini, Cyclades, and Crete, Greece

 Summer 2020                      

NAU in Greece


In the late Bronze Age, around 1530 BCE, the Grecian volcano Santorini catastrophically erupted causing the island to partially sink into the Aegean Sea.  The eruption is thought to be the source of the legend of Atlantis, where in 360 BCE, Plato wrote of a city that sank into the sea in a “single day and night of misfortune.”  This study abroad course takes you to the Aegean Sea and the active volcano, where you will study the caldera-forming eruption that likely contributed to the downfall of an ancient, advanced civilization. 

At the start of the trip, you will participate in the biannual conference, Cities on Volcanoes 11 (COV11), held in Heraklion, Crete, Greece May 23-May 27, 2020. The COV11 meeting will focus on addressing the core links between science and society as it pertains to active volcanic eruptions near populated cities, including emphases on successful science-to-society partnerships, and the inclusion at the conference of professional colleagues within social science, emergency management, infrastructure risk mitigation, and education.  After the conference, you will take a two-day field trip around the Psiloritis UNESCO Geopark in central Crete, exploring millions of years of mountain and island building processes that formed Crete and other Aegean islands.  

While on Santorini you will learn about the processes that generate cataclysmic volcanic eruptions and study the ancient and modern volcanic hazards associated with such eruptions.  You will have the opportunity to study the bizarre landscapes and landforms of volcanic islands, explore 4,000 year-old Minoan ruins buried by the last explosive volcanic eruption, walk on and study an active volcano, swim in hot springs, tour the island by private boat, among many other unique experiences, all while being immersed in Greek island culture

About the program - Greece


There are two program leaders, Lisa Thompson ( and Michael Darin (University of Reno).  Lisa is a Senior Lecturer in the Geology Program who teaches the liberal studies course Geologic Disasters.  Lisa has a research background in explosive, submarine volcanoes. Dr. Michael Darin is faculty at the University of Reno, Nevada. His research is on tectonics and structural geology, and he has a special expertise in the tectonics of the Middle East and Eastern Europe.


For more information on course content and a photo gallery, visit the class blog NAU in Greece.  Also, check out the article on this program in the in the AZ Daily Sun here!


Attend the Cities on Volcanoes 11 conference in Heraklion, Crete.  This conference brings together physical scientists, emergency management planners, policy makers, and social scientists from all over the world to discuss procedures in managing active volcanic eruptions near populated areas.
Visit and study Akrotiri, the Bronze Age city buried and preserved by the 1530 BCE eruption of Santorini.  The excavation site reveals the architectural advances of the ancient Minoan culture – the highlights of which are three-story frescoed houses faced with plumbing, shops with storefront windows, and public spaces.

Visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera on Santorini, which houses many of the treasures found in ancient Akrotiri including frescoes, pottery, weapons, and jewelry.  

Attend a musical theater in Fira, Santorini, where the audience actively participates in a Greek wedding set in the 1940’s.
Stop in a roadside farmer’s shops serving a host of local products from Santorini crops – jams, capers, olives, olive oil, honey, and many other delicious treats!

Students will have daily interaction with the shopkeepers and business owners.  Most people who work in the main cities of Santorini are not local, but they are mostly Greek (or from other southern European countries).  Students will also be exposed to many different cultures as Santorini is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.  On any given day you can hear 10-20 different languages!     

Ferry and boat trips in the Aegean expose students to the traditional method of travel among the Greek islands.Students are required to complete a course in basic Greek, a language from which many of our English words come from!

Excursions boats - Greece

Although almost everyone in the main towns of Santorini speaks English, students will need to learn the basics of the Greek language in the case of an emergency or if they need to communicate with locals who are outside of the tourist areas.  Students will be required to complete a basic course in conversational Greek.  Students can master the basics of everyday conversations, asking for directions, making purchases, etc. through interacting with and getting support from fluent Greek speakers.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the learning experiences you will have!

See the "Academic Calendar" section below for an outline of the various excursio
ns incorporated into this program.


  • Minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Prerequisites: GLG112 and GLG112L OR GLG101 and GLG103 with a grade of an A or B



Course Application

Students can earn 3 credits for EES209 – International Field Experience in Earth Sciences & Environmental Sustainability

Degree application:

Geology majors and minors–  3-credit general elective

Environmental Science majors & minors – 3-credit general elective or applied science credit by petition (major/minor elective by petition for a Geology emphasis)

Environmental Studies majors & minors– 3-credit general elective or applied science credit by petition (major/minor elective by petition to fulfill natural science requirement)

Biology majors and minors – 3-credit general elective or applied science credit by petition (major/minor elective by petition to fulfill 14-credit science requirement)

Non-science majors – 3-credit general elective or applied science credit by petition


Skinner Itinerary 2020
*Classroom/field work begins at 10 am and ends by ~5 pm every day.  Students travel and eat lunch together on all classroom/field work days*


While in Santorini, students will be housed at Wisteria Apartments.  


To view the costs for this program, click the "costs" link at the top of this page. This will direct you to a line-item breakdown of how much the program costs and what is included in those costs.


To apply to this program, all you need to do is hit the "Apply Now" button found at the top of this page. Once you submit an application, you will be charged a non-refundable application fee of $100.  Starting an application is free. Once applied, you will have your own personal study abroad page, with a checklist of items needed in order to complete your application.


9/9 from 6-8 PM

9/26 from 6-8 PM 

10/8 from 6-8 PM

Where: North Campus, Building #12 (Geology), Room 109


If you would like to talk to an advisor about this program, you can find his/her name at the top of this page. To make an appointment, or view walk-in hours for this advisor, please visit the "Talk to an Advisor" section located on the main menu on the left side of your screen.


Marcella Barrios
Major: Criminology & Criminal Justice
Term: Summer 2016
Read her blog!

Hanako Ueda
Major: Civil Engineering
Term: Summer 2017
Read her blog!



Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 02/15/2020 03/01/2020 05/21/2020 06/18/2020
Summer 2021 03/15/2021 04/15/2021 TBA TBA