Ecuadorian textiles. Photo Taken by Dr. Lyn Loveless, Wooster Summer in Ecuador Director.
(Dates of the summer field experience in Ecuador are TBD)
Biological conservation is a global issue. The basic principles of conservation biology, which include protection of genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity, can be taught virtually anywhere; however, the pressure for effective conservation is especially intense in areas of the world whose native biological diversity is vast and still largely intact. Countries such as Ecuador are among the most diverse areas on earth, but also a location in which the competition for resources by a variety of stakeholders is most easily observed. In addition, in Ecuador, the inherent economic inequality of the population, and the high level of dependence that local, more traditional peoples place on raw natural resources, makes the issues of development, livelihood, economic growth, protection, and sustainability even more dramatic.
An appreciation of this cultural diversity, in concert with issues of sustaining biological diversity, will be essential in allowing students to tease apart the assumptions and power relationships that stakeholders bring to resource conflicts. To this end, both the cultural and the biological elements of Ecuador will be under scrutiny during the entire course.
This course examines conservation issues in the tropics from multiple perspectives, with a focus on biodiversity, resource conservation, habitat protection, and development issues in Ecuador. The course includes an intensive and physically rigorous four-week field experience in Ecuador during the summer. We will examine the links between human livelihoods, resource protection, and development. We will also explore the impacts of human activities on tropical species, natural habitats and social institutions (including indigenous cultures) and will look at examples of successful conservation projects involving both Ecuadorians and international non-governmental organizations.
All students going on the summer trip are required to enroll in and complete the 0.5-unit seminar course on campus in the spring prior to the off-campus course. To enroll in the course, students must meet the criteria for off-campus study; however enrollment in the course is limited.
Pre-requisites: none. Does not apply for credit in the Biology major. Does count as credit for LAD in Math/Natural Sciences; elective credit for the Environmental Studies major; elective credit for the Latin American Studies minor, as well as fulfilling the off-campus study requirement for LAS. Offered in spring/summer of 2014. One and one-half credits. [+]
Part I: On-Campus Seminar
Students must enroll in the Spring 2014 seminar course in order to participate in the off-campus experience. This seminar-format class will meet once a week (TBD). The class will include required readings, class discussion, lectures, films and videos, and other appropriate resources.
Part II: Off-Campus Experience
Arrive Quito. General orientation.
El Pahuma Orchid reserve; Quito Botanical Gardens
Days 3 - 6
Lalo Loor Tropical Dry Forest Reserve, and coastal conservation issues
Days 7 - 10
Junin Forest Lodge, Intag Province. Learn about political issues centered around plans to create an open-pit copper mine in a cloud forest, against the wishes of the residents. Visit local farms (coffee, sugar cane). Hiking in the Forest Reserve. Visit Intag Cloud Forest Reserve.
Days 11 - 12
Otovalo (indigenous market). Day at local indigenous market - handicrafts and tropical fruit and vegetables. Visit local conservation sites.
Days 13 - 14
Quito. Quito Zoo. City tour.
Days 15 - 18
Tiputini Biodiversity Station (rainforest, access by air from Quito to Coca, then bus and motorized canoe). Focus on rainforest biodiversity, oil extraction issues, forest ecology and conservation.
Travel to Sani Lodge on the Napo Rver (travel is by van/bus and several motorized canoes. Travel time is about 4.5 hours).
Days 20 - 24
Sani Lodge - an ecotourism site, operated by the Kechua Indians. Homestay in a Kechua village. Local livelihoods, farming, and ecotourism.
Return to Quito.
Day trip to Antisana Volcano. Endangered species and habitats at high elevations.
Return to the United States.
Lodging throughout the trip includes hotels in Quito, cabins in Lalo Loor, lodges in the stations/reserves, and a one night homestay on the Napo River in a Kechua village.
Participation in this program is by application only. As with all off campus study at the College, applicants must be in good academic and social standing, and must have a GPA of at least 2.75 (exceptions may be granted by the faculty leading this program). Please see Off Campus Studies Policies, Procedures and Protocols for more information.
Students must submit an application (due TBD), a release of liability and a commitment of participation signed by the student and parents/guardians, and a completed emergency contact form. Participants will be chosen based on the quality of their applications, including the personal statement, information from references, and how the proposed trip fits into their four-year plan of study at the College and into their future plans. There will also be an interview with the program Director. You will be prompted to enter your College of Wooster username and password at the start of the application form.
The total cost for the Wooster in Ecuador - Conservation Biology in the Tropics, will be approximately $5450 (subject to change) PLUS your flight to Atlanta. This includes round trip international flights from Atlanta, internal flights, mandatory insurance, vehicles and drivers in Ecuador, and all accommodations, meals, and fees.
International flights: We have purchased a round trip group air ticket from Atlanta to Quito. We know that most of you will need to get to Atlanta and therefore have made an agreement with the airline to provide discounted connector flights to Atlanta. All flights from your home to Atlanta MUST be booked through the Office of Off Campus Studies to take advantage of the discounted rate. Please contact Nicola Kille for more information. The difference in price for the connector flights will mean that participants may pay different amounts for this program.
Financial assistance may be available.
You are responsible for any passport and visa fees, vaccinations, and all incidentals and gifts purchased in Ecuador.
A non-refundable deposit of $500 will be due to Nicola Kille in the Center for Diversity and Global Engagement by TBD, to hold your place. The College of Wooster reserves the right to charge you any additional non-recoverable costs if you cancel your place on this program and we are unable to receive a refund from our in-country partners.
To maintain the safety and security of everyone in the program, the College of Wooster will evaluate the situation in Ecuador just prior to departure. We reserve the right to cancel the off-campus portion of the program if the region is deemed unsafe for travel. In this instance, we will attempt to refund as much of the program fee as possible.
Please contact Dr. Lyn Loveless in the Department of Biology or the Office of Off Campus Studies in the Center for Diversity and Global Engagement for more information.
Connect with The College of Wooster on Facebook »
1189 Beall Ave.Wooster, OH 44691Phone: firstname.lastname@example.org
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
© Map and Directions | Employment | A to Z Index | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions | ScotMail | ScotWeb | ScotBlogs | Libraries | WHN