“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed.”
– Pico Iyer

Explore the world with Rice University faculty and other experts in this new lecture series featuring a different region of the globe each week. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Rice’s Traveling Owls program, this series teams up with the Association of Rice Alumni to share weekly lectures by faculty leaders of 2020 international Traveling Owls trips and other Rice professors and Houston-area experts. This interdisciplinary class opens with a history of travel and travelers and goes on to illuminate the history, nature, art, science and culture of destinations including Antarctica, Borneo, Costa Rica, Italy, and Scotland. Whether you’re planning to take an upcoming Traveling Owls trip or are simply an aspiring or armchair traveler, join us for a transformative intellectual expedition.

Note: Registration in a Rice Traveling Owls trip is not required to participate in this course.

Course Schedule

March 25. The History of Travel and Travelers. Lisa Balabanlilar, Ph.D., associate professor and director of undergraduate studies, Department of History, Rice University

April 1. The Villas and Villages of Palladio’s Veneto: An Architect’s Guide to World Heritage Masterpieces. William T. Cannady, M.Arch., professor emeritus, Rice School of Architecture and Brown School of Engineering and adjunct professor of management, Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University

April 15. From Loch Ness to Culloden Moor: The Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Newell Boyd, Ph.D., semi-retired professor of history, Master of Liberal Studies program, Rice University

April 22. The Nature of Borneo. Cin-Ty Lee, Ph.D., professor and chair, Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University

April 29. What Ants Can Teach Us in Costa Rica. Scott Solomon, Ph.D., associate teaching professor, BioSciences, Rice University

May 6. The Changing Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica: How We Know and Why It Matters. Julia Wellner, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Houston



  • Biosciences at Rice
  • Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University
  • Department of History, Rice University
  • Rice University Office of Alumni Relations

Enroll Now - Available Sections

Section Title
Transformed by Travel: Around the World with Rice University
7:00PM to 8:30PM
Mar 25, 2020 to May 06, 2020
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Rice Campus
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $220.00
Section Notes
No class April 8


Refund Policy

A 10 percent processing fee will be subtracted from all refunds. Due to the high demand for courses, registrations are considered final as of 10 days prior to the class start date. No refunds will be issued after these dates and credits will not be given for future classes. No refunds will be granted for participants who miss a portion of a program. Refund requests before the deadline must be made in writing to gscs@rice.edu.