Rainforests, Reefs and Ruins of Belize
This course includes and serves as preparation for a 2-week trip to Belize in January 2013 where we will examine tropical ecosystems, Mayan civilization, and human impacts on biodiversity.
During the semester, the class explores factors that lead to high biodiversity in the tropics, the importance of this biodiversity to human civilization including the use of timber and medicinal plants, appreciates the scientific, artistic and spiritual accomplishments of the Mayan civilization, and studies the current condition of coral reefs. We will also explore the anthropogenic threats to these ecosystems, including overharvesting of natural resources, population growth, industrialized agriculture and tourism.
During the January trip, we will investigate the Mayan ruins at Caracol and the ceremonial caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal, explore the Belize Botanical Garden and Medicinal Plant Trail, stay with Belizean families overnight and help on a project in the village of Cristo Rey, spend three days deep in the jungle, and three days among the Garifuna people while we explore the coral reef ecosystem via snorkeling.
Additional course fee of approximately $2,300, plus airfare. This figure includes local transportation, some food, and lodging.
Please note that this program is designed for Exploratory, Environmental Studies/Science, Biology and Anthropology majors, but open to all students. Requires permission of instructor.
For additional information, please contact Susan Allen-Gil at firstname.lastname@example.org.