Conservation Biology & Economics in the Amazon Jungle of Ecuador
Experience life alongside fellow Longwood students and faculty in the beautiful developing nation of Ecuador, home to part of the Amazon jungle. Study conservation biology and the connections to economic development as you explore the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon, home to many indigenous tribes. Visit the villages of the Cofani and the Siona tribes and learn from their shamans how drilling for oil in this pristine area is impacting indigenous life. We will be hosted by SELVA, a Dutch-funded organization that partners with the indigenous tribes and fights for protection of the Amazon. Explore what some call the “resource curse,” as Ecuador struggles to take advantage of a commodity with great export value while bearing the impact of drilling in highly sensitive areas. Students will live in the Amazon for several days, visiting tribes, doing field work, interviewing tribal leaders, trekking in the jungle, learning about indigenous medicine from jungle plants, and observing many species of monkeys, birds, reptiles, and insects. Students will also visit Quito, the capital, Otovalo, and indigenous artisan community, and United Nations projects on hard-pan construction in the Ilalo. Class will begin online prior to departure and will finish while in Ecuador.
*Participants should understand that, while all housing will have showers and toilets, the jungle lodges are quite rustic. Transportation in and out of the Amazon will be by small boat. Our base in the Amazon will be 2-3 hours, by boat, from the launch point. Daily activities will also involve transportation by small boat. Visits to the SELVA Peace Reserve and the indigenous community require some walking, and in one village, significant trekking to a spirit tree. Treks might involve muddy terrain (with boots) and paths that are not always flat or smooth.
BIOL/EASC : Conservation and Economics: The Oil Debate in Ecuador: This class will provide students with an overview of Ecuador, with a focus on the debate surrounding the decision to drill for oil in the highly sensitive Amazon jungle. Particularly, students will gain an understanding of conservation and economic issues surrounding the decision. The themes of conservation biology and economic development will be integrated while highlighting the trade-offs associated with the decision. This course will start online and will finish while in Ecuador. ** Course pending approval**