Center in Ecuador

 

Study In Ecuador

Enter Details here.In a collaboration with Rhodes and Sewanee  we are happy to announce is the launching of a new semester program in Ecuador, which explores various environmental challenges of today and tomorrow through an integrated lens of science and humanities in place-based courses. 

This Global Environmental Challenges program explores various environmental challenges of today and tomorrow through an integrated lease of science and humanities in place-based courses. The semester-long program is based in Ecuador and will spend twelve weeks in the highlands of Cuenca, followed by a three-week module at a biodiversity station in the Amazon and in the Galápagos Islands. 

Students who participate in the program will be able to:

  • Recognize and analyze complex environmental challenges and local responses from the perspective of diverse stakeholders, particularly considering Latin America v. the U.S. 
  • Consider multiple definitions of sustainability within a specific local and national context
  • Grow in empathy and in linguistic and cultural competency through sustained engagement with local communities
  • Learn, apply, and/or evaluate natural and social science field methodologies in local contexts

 

  • SEPT 8: DEPART THE UNITED STATES AND ARRIVE IN QUITO, ECUADOR
  • SEPT 8 - SEPT 10: ARRIVE AND OVERNIGHTS IN QUITO AT A LOCAL HOTEL
  • SEPT 10 - DECEMBER 1: CUENCA SEGMENT
  • SEPT 11: ORIENTATION
  • SEPT 12: CLASSES BEGIN
  • OCT 9: NATIONAL HOLIDAY, NO CLASSES
  • NOV 2-3: FALL BREAK, NO CLASSES
  • NOV 28: FINAL DAY OF CLASSES; ALL WRITTEN WORK DUE
  • NOV 29-30: FINAL EXAMS
  • DEC 1: ARRIVE IN QUITO AND CHECK INTO HOTEL LODGING
  • DEC 2: ORIENTATION 
  • DEC 3: OVERNIGHT AT COCA IN A LOCAL HOTEL
  • DEC 4 - 8: TIPUTINI BIODIVERSITY STATION (TBS) IN THE AMAZON RIVER BASIN
  • DEC 8: OVERNIGHT AT COCA IN A LOCAL HOTEL
  • DEC 9: OVERNIGHT IN QUITO
  • DEC 10-16: SAN CRISTOBAL, GALAPAGOS
  • DEC 17-19: ISABELLA, GALAPAGOS
  • DEC 20-21: SANTA CRUZ, GALAPAGOS
  • DEC 22: PROGRAM ENDS; STUDENTS DEPART FOR THE U.S.

Course overview

Students will take a full course load on the Global Environmental Challenges program. Students will enroll in three courses in Cuenca over a span of 12 weeks; the fourth course, Ecology & Biodiversity in Ecuador, will be taught as a three-week module in the Amazon river basin and the Galapagos.  There is no Spanish requirement to enroll in the program; however, all students will be required to take a Spanish language course at their level.

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  • Environmental Challenges: linking the local to the global This course examines local environmental challenges in Cuenca, Ecuador and nearby locations.  Examples of potential topics include, but are not limited to:  gold mining and its effects on water quality; eco-agricultural sustainable food production; corn sovereignty (small production vs. large agro-industrial production); invasive species of flora and fauna (e.g. introduction of trout in Cajas).  Experiential learning will be a significant element of the course, and students will regularly visit local communities, NGOs, museums, governmental offices, etc. so that students can learn from those who are most affected by these issues.  Additionally, students will observe local community members’ engagement in political activism, artistic expression, and cultural practices that illustrate their experiences with the environment and their efforts to pursue alternative ways of interfacing with the natural world.  While each of the environmental challenges mentioned above is present in and around Cuenca, the course will explicitly explore links to the broader global context.  For example, gold mining has a negative impact on the environment in this region; however, mining has similar effects on various communities around the world, from coal mining in the southeastern United States to cobalt mining in central Africa.  The course should include discussions around questions such as: How does the practice affect the environment (land, water, air)?  What are the reasons for these environmentally damaging practices?  How are these practices affecting local and global communities of people? How are the affected communities employing artistic expression to illustrate their experiences?  What alternatives have been suggested or implemented?  What are the obstacles to achieving solutions?  Again, the discussions would apply to locations in Ecuador as well as other places around the world and at the global level where organizations such as the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), World Bank, Greenpeace,  the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), World Wide Fund for nature (WWF), etc., work to address these challengesTaught by Dr. David Christopher Siddons (Ecuador), Universidad del Azuay 
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  • Environment, Conservation, and Policy Issues in Ecuador; The main purpose of the course is to offer an introduction to the most influential factors shaping the ecosystems and their conservation looking at the global, regional, and local factors that determine the climates and the contrasting ecosystems in Ecuador.  The course includes several field visits to the Ecuadorian Amazon (Tiputini Biodiversity Station) and the Galapagos Islands.  This allows students to experience first-hand current topics of conservation and policy issues, while discussing the main environmental challenges associated with the conservation of natural ecosystems in tropical developing countries.  Additionally, this course reviews the environmental issues facing contemporary Ecuador in the context of a transforming global reality.  These issues include the oil industry and indigenous communities in the Amazon Basin, aquaculture, and shrimp farming, introduced species, large scale ranching and deforestation, fisheries, and the management of fragile marine ecosystems.  We investigate possible solutions taking into account political and ecological pressures, perspectives of indigenous populations, environmentalists, the governments, NGOs, as well as international investors and multinational companies.   Taught by Dr. Leo Zurita Arthos (Ecuador), Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) – 3 weeks at the end of the program
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  • Spanish Language (Beginner to Superior, depending on the ability of the student)

       

        Tropical Biology This course surveys the diversity of tropical ecosystems and examines the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape them. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and guest speakers, the course examines foundational theories and major themes in tropical biology, including species diversity, adaptations and coevolution, community structure, biogeography, and conservation challenges. The course uses Ecuador as a model to illustrate general principles and contemporary issues in tropical ecology and conservation. Taught by Dr. Michael Collins (Rhodes College)

  • Faculty Director is Dr. Michael Collins (Rhodes College)