Accessible Earth is a study abroad program at the University of Arizona (Arizona) based in Orvieto, Italy. Students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in the geoscience and Earth science fields. The course is the first of its kind and is designed to fulfill a capstone requirement for geoscience programs, traditionally known as field camp. These camps are about six-weeks long and usually involve strenuous activity, such as hiking and camping for weeks on end. Prior to this program, many students were excluded from participating in field camp mostly due to physical barriers.
The Disability Resource Center and Geoscience Department saw a need to provide a sustainable, equitable and inclusive alternative to the traditional field camp. Arizona was not satisfied with some students having to settle for an alternative that did not equate to what most of their peers were doing. The program allows students to access and synthesize data from an "exotic" place. Students attend class in Orvieto most of the time, but also go on a five-day excursion across northern Italy. The trip changes slightly from year-to-year depending on the student group.
The program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from across the globe. Though the program appeals to students in the STEM field, students from other fields are encouraged to apply.