Topics in Environmental Policy: Sustainability in the Amazon Basin

With funding from the Commit-to-Change Program, Professor Susan Allen-Gil has developed this unique course looking at Sustainability in the Amazon Basin.   The experience requires enrollment in a semester Topics in Environmental Policy course, which combines to be a semester course with a 2-week trip in May.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: ENVS 38000/38200 - On campus, we will familiarize ourselves with the cultures, communities, and logistics of the international trip. In May, we will travel to Ecuador, where we will immerse ourselves in the ecology and cultures of the headwaters of the Amazon Basin. Ecuador offers us the ability to look at two indigenous cultures, the Karanki and the Achuar, that are choosing sustainability over development. In the Andean Highlands and headwaters of the Amazon, the Karanki community collectively decided to abandon their tractors in favor of more sustainable farming practices and to pursue ecotourism as a source of income. The Achuar‘s territory of two million roadless acres of pristine rainforest is under pressure for oil development on the scale that ruined the northern part of the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin (Chevron‘s ongoing lawsuit). They are also pursuing limited ecotourism as a way to stave off this oil development. We will have the opportunity to experience sustainability as these two cultures practice it on a daily basis, including trekking, canoeing, and homestays. This course can be used to fulfill the ENVS cultural immersion requirement. Additional course fees apply (approximately $2900 plus airfare).

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