Ramapo College of New Jersey
Peru: Engaging with Amazonian Livelihoods
4 credits, Summer Program
This course provides students with an immersive experience with people, ecology and issues of the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon, which has one of the highest levels of biodiversity on earth. As an interdisciplinary course, students engage with a wide variety of communities, professionals, ecosystems and related topics. An underlying principle of the course is that students benefit from the diverse perspectives and expertise of the instructors, resource people and each other. The first nine days of the course take place at Ramapo College of New Jersey, where students gain extensive background about the ecology, culture, language, community structure, livelihoods, and economics in Madre de Dios. Subsequently, a three-week trip to Peru combines field excursions to indigenous communities and other sites along the Tambopata and Madre de Dios Rivers with lectures, discussions and independent projects designed for each student to explore her/his own specific interests in close consultation with the instructors. Topics include Amazonian ecology, ecological culture in indigenous communities, community governance, traditional uses of Amazonian forest medicines, perspectives of diverse stakeholders, ecosystem services, supply chains, sustainable development, ecotourism and subsistence and market-oriented, organic agriculture, forestry, and natural resource management as practiced by small landholders.
Scholarships are available