SOU’s Environmental Science and Policy program will mix academics with vacation-type fun in a field course next summer, focusing on tourism’s impact on the culture, environment, and biodiversity of Ecuador.
The course, Ecoadventure: Andes to Amazon (ES 408/508), is worth six credits and will take place some time over the summer. It’ll be taught on SOU’s campus, online and in the Republic of Ecuador, as the course includes a 12-day trip to the South American country. Vincent Smith, an associate professor and chair of Environmental Science and Policy, is expected to teach the course.
“The course will focus on the impacts of tourism and development on the culture and environment of Ecuador,” Smith said. “Students will further explore tropical ecology and biodiversity in two distinct regions of Ecuador.”
During the course, students will take tours of the Mindo Wildlife Canopy and Ecuador’s capital Quito, raft in the Napo River, visit the Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardens and the Papallacta Hot Springs, take a Pacmanca Cooking Class, and much more.
The total cost is expected to be about $4,000, including six credits of tuition and a trip fee that will include airfare, lodging, food and ground transportation. The course is open to all students, regardless of their major.
Those who are interested in learning more about the field course are asked to fill out an online form to receive emails regarding trip updates, registration deadlines, exact costs and other details. While the exact dates for the course will be set during Winter Term, the trip to Ecuador is expected to leave the Medford airport on about July 13.
Smith has taught a number of classes at SOU, including last summer’s Ecoadventure: Mayan Riviera course, which focused on marine biology, sustainable development and tourism. His research explores the coupled human-environment systems that shape the world. Smith’s work spans from human ecology to agroecology.
Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer