Research in Ecuador:
The Galapagos Islands, Andes Mountains and Tropical Rainforest
July 15 – August 6, 2001
Dr. Betty Smith, Department of Geology and Geography
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This field based research program will provide a cross cultural and scientific experience involving data collection for a research topic to be agreed upon by the student and the instructor. Students will meet individually with the instructor during the first days of the field course to identify an appropriate topic. Participants, during a three week period of time from July 15 – August 6, 2001, will traverse and explore unique ecological zones along the Equator. The research will involve earth sciences and the geography of human-land interactions. The geographic site of the research will be the tropical rainforest of the Ecuadorian Amazon, the high Andes Mountains, or the Galapagos Islands located 600 miles off the coast of South America.
Data collection will involve photography, written observations and maps. An 8-10 page double-spaced report will be prepared describing the method of data collection, the method of analysis, and conclusions. The written report is due October 15, 2001. A special lesson plan option for teachers is available upon request.
Presentation: An oral presentation is required on Friday, November 2 on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. Presenters may wish to enhance their presentation with a poster containing relevant photographs, slides or transparencies used with an overhead projector.
COURSE LEVEL: This is a special off-campus course that provides upper division undergraduate or graduate level semester credits at Eastern Illinois University. This Research Course is intended to complement GEG/ESC 4998. See separate syllabus for GEG/ESC 4998-148 (5 credits).
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite for GEG/ESC 4996 is one geography or one earth science course or permission of the instructor AND concurrent enrollment in GEG/ESC 4998 for 5 credits. Ability to speak or read Spanish is not required. If you have taken some Spanish, it will be useful. All majors are welcome.
EVALUATION METHODS FOR DETERMINING GRADE (3 Credits)
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: Final grade will be based upon a written report (70%) and oral presentation (30%) of a field based research project.
GRADUATE STUDENTS: Final grade will be based upon a written report (70%) and oral presentation (30%) of a field based research project. A more advanced level of work is expected from graduate students including a discussion of some of the existing research that has been done in the past on the selected topic of investigation.
SPECIAL OPTION FOR TEACHERS: A special option for teachers is available. In lieu of a research paper, teachers may prepare a set of lesson plans designed to convey the material learned during the field course. The lesson plans must be accompanied by a 3-4 page narrative discussion of the pedagogical approach, objectives, and intended method of evaluating degree of success of the lesson plans.
OPTIONAL READING: This book is not required reading, however, many of the topics examined in the book will be discussed during the field course. As background reading, students may wish to refer to this book before or after participating in the course.
The following book may be found at libraries, purchased in bookstores or ordered over the internet. Price quoted is from www.amazon.com on the internet.
Southgate, Douglas & Morris Whitaker, 1994 Economic Progress and The Environment: One Developing Country’s Policy Crisis, New York: Oxford University Press. (ISBN #0195087860, only available in hardcover, 150 pages, $55.00)
This book is particularly relevant to the study of Ecuadorian human-land interactions. The book is entirely devoted to the conflicts between economic development and environmental degradation. The issues are examined in the context of various ecological zones of Ecuador, including specific case studies. Chapter headings include the following:
1. Environmental Crisis in the Latin American Countryside
2. Causes of Increasing Resource Scarcity
3. Policy Crisis and Environmental Degradation
4. Case Study on Tropical Deforestation
5. Case Study on Farmland Degradation
6. Case Study on Waste and Misallocation of Water Resources
7. Case Study on Oil Industry Pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon
8. Case Study on Shrimp Mariculture and Coastal Ecosystems
9. Case Study on Tourism and Species Preservation in the Galápagos
10. Development and the Environment: Some Common Fallacies
11. Resolving the Policy Crisis