2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Andean Roots: Biocultural Diversity Conservation in Highland Peru


Summer quarter

Faculty: Steven Scheuerell ecology, botany, plant pathology

Fields of Study: biology, cultural studies, environmental studies and sustainability studies


Credits: 8(Su)

Class Standing: Sophomore - Senior

Offered During: Day, Evening and Weekend

Prerequisites: Spanish language comprehension (the equivalent of at least two quarters of college-level Spanish)


This study-abroad program to highland Peru will combine studies of biocultural diversity, cultural ecology, conservation biology, and sustainable development to learn how people are working to conserve cultural landscapes in the face of globalization and climate change. The Cusco region of Peru provides an ideal place to immerse in these studies. Here the headwaters of the Amazon flow from glacial covered peaks of the Andes to tropical rainforest, passing through radical changes in flora and fauna and thousands of years of continuous human habitation and domestication. Globally recognized as one of the origins of agriculture, these cultural landscapes hold an immense wealth of cultural knowledge and agricultural and ecosystem diversity that has developed and endured through pre-Incan, Incan, Spanish, and Peruvian rule. Yet these people, knowledge, culture, biodiversity, and landscapes, summed up as biocultural diversity, are straining from rapid development of resource extraction industries, industrial agriculture, globalization, and climate change. To study this we will base out of the town of Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, from which we will make day and overnight visits to highland Quechua communities, valley locations, and high jungle tropical sites. We will participate in local projects that support diversity while providing for sustainable human development in order to understand the complexities of global initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Millennium Development Goals.

Participating in this program will require the ability to travel independently and as a cooperative member of our learning community. We will have orientation meetings on the Evergreen Olympia campus preceeding summer session, but students will travel independently to Cusco, Peru, where we will gather together at a designated hostel June 20-21. Each participant will have to purchase their own plane tickets, which minimizes cost to you and maximizes flexibility in travel routes and timing. Faculty will arrange all lodging and local group transport during the stay. We will study together from June 21 to July 22; this includes evaluation writing and conferences. Students are encouraged to consider further independent study at one of the local language schools or independent travel to local communities, Incan sites such as Machu Picchu, and diverse ecosystems.

Please understand the following about costs and travel conditions. A non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by May 1 to secure your space. Students will be required to pay an $800 student fee that covers lodging, group transport, program site visits, and a fraction of faculty travel costs. Lodging costs are calculated on youth-hostel like conditions with same-sex shared rooms and shared bathrooms. Private accomodations can be arranged in advance at approximately double the price, contact faculty if you prefer this option. Students will pay out-of-pocket for their own food and meals in order to meet dietary needs and different budgets; $7 per day gives you ample options at restaurants, shops, and outdoor markets. Students will pay out-of-pocket for any personal items and independent outings during free time to local areas of interest including museums, artisan markets, and Incan archeological sites. ATM machines are easy to access in the region. Students will arrange and pay for their own plane flights to Cusco, Peru. Faculty can provide advice on travel options. Students need to have sufficient Spanish language ability to greet people, ask and understand directions, work with currency, and purchase food. Much of what we do will require extensive walking, sometimes at high elevation and on uneven ground. You will have to carry everything you bring, so pack light and know that you can buy just about anything you need. Contact faculty for a suggested packing list. Please email any questions to faculty member Steve Scheuerell at (scheuers<at>evergreen.edu) with Andean Roots in the subject line.

Maximum Enrollment: 15

Advertised Schedule: Pre-departure meetings will be held on the Olympia campus in early June. Students will travel independently to Peru to join faculty in Cusco on June 20-21. Program ends July 22 at which point students will be free to travel on their own.

Required Fees: $150 non-refundable deposit due by May 1, 2011.  $800 required fee covers shared lodging, ground transport, and site visits. All other expenses covered separately by student.

Special Expenses: Out-of-pocket expenses include approximately $1100 for airfare and airport taxes, $250 for food, and $100+ for personal items.

Study Abroad: 5 weeks of travel in Peru

Preparatory for studies or careers in: conservation biology, agricultural diversity conservation, biocultural diversity studies, ecology, cultural studies, sustainable development

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
December 30th, 2010 This offering has been cancelled due to low enrollment. The faculty is willing to take on individual learning contracts for students who wish to do similar work.