About the Founder

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David Adams, Ph.D., Founder

Dr. David Adams founded the Institute for Global Studies in 1999. He has run field courses and set up academic internships in seventeen countries for U.C. Santa Barbara, San Francisco State, and other universities. A cultural anthropologist who completed his doctoral studies at the University of Hawaii, he likewise holds Masters Degrees in anthropology and religion and an undergraduate degree in philosophy. David's research interests include the relationship between religion and ecology, environmental ethics, and political movements. He has served as a featured lecturer for Smithsonian and National Geographic in Asia and the Pacific. David works one-on-one with prospective interns to provide personalized service throughout the process. His years of experience allow him to provide custom placements that help students grow and benefit the organizations they work with. He is the author of two books: Season of the Loon and Samsara. Both are available on Amazon.com and explore the relationships between cultures and the natural environment.

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More About IGS:

Collegeboard.com Article


David Adams

With National Geographic



By David Adams

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David Adams

With Smithsonian

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Season of the Loon

By David Adams

Meet Our Staff



Tibor Lendvai has a history degree from the University of Sydney and taught at the prestigious Meriden School for twenty-five years. He has likewise taught advance placement courses at the University of Sydney and is a published author. Tibor is known locally for an educational television show that he hosted. Currently, he serves on the History Teacher’s Association Board. 


Marie Kaarlas has degrees in business and film production from the University of Sydney. She runs her own production company and works with local corporations on their media presence. Marie also does event planning and hospitality for a local tour company.


Vy Tran has a business degree and a degree in tourism management from the University of Technology, Sydney. She has served as the brand manager for Sony and Complete Travel Marketing Group. Vy specializes in campaigns to boost tourism to Australia and New Zealand.


Nina Rossi has a law degree and a master’s in business management from the University of Sydney. Nina has worked at top law firms in the area. She specializes in corporate law and assists on researching, drafting and advising clients on contract disputes, litigation, and intellectual property.

New Zealand


Siobhan O’Grady has her master’s degree in International Development. She has worked for Conservation Volunteer’s Auckland office (conservationvolunteers.co.nz) as the Corporate Partnerships manager the past four years. Siobhan has supervised students both in the office and the field and has an excellent knowledge of New Zealand’s unique history and natural areas. One of our Down Under students completed an internship under Siobhan at Conservation Volunteers and gave their office and crew rave reviews. Prior to her arrival to Auckland, Siobhan worked in international education in Asia and the Pacific.


Dave Jordan has a degree in linguistics and is a instructor at the Auckland Institute of Studies. In addition to his reputation as a educator, Dave runs Jafa Dave Tour Company. He is recognized as one of Auckland’s most accomplished field guides. Dave has been a favorite among students over the past programs for his Piha Beach and Hobbiton trips. For Piha, Dave times his arrivals with the tides and shows students remote corners of the coastline unseen by the casual tourist. 


Amy Klitchner has a degree in physical geography and is the international volunteer coordinator at Sustainable Coastlines Auckland (sustainablecoastlines.org). She runs orientation camps for overseas students and prepares them for conservation work with their organization. Amy has worked in the island group of Vanuatu in community development. Specifically, she assisted in rebuilding villages that were affected by a 2015 hurricane. Amy is a marathon runner and avid hiker of New Zealand’s many ranges.