2010-11 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description

Biodiversity Studies in Argentina

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty: Erik Thuesen biology, marine science

Fields of Study: biology, botany, ecology, field studies, language studies, marine science, natural history and study abroad

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10072 (16) Jr - Sr  Signature Required Students must complete an application survey. The survey can be downloaded from the faculty member's web page (http://academic.evergreen.edu/t/thuesene/Teach/Teach.htm). Applications received by the Academic Fair, May 12, 2010, will be given priority. Qualified students will be accepted until the program fills.  

Winter: Enrollment Closed  CRN (Credit) Level 20042 (16) Jr - Sr  

Credits: 16(F); 16(W)

Class Standing: Junior - Senior

Offered During: Day

Academic Website: http://wikis.evergreen.edu/bsa2010/

Prerequisites: Previous academic work in natural history and/or environmental studies is required. Previous Spanish language studies are strongly recommended.


In the 19th century, well-known European scientists such as Darwin, d'Orbigny and Bonpland traveled in Argentina and brought their knowledge of the flora and fauna back to Europe. The marine, desert and alpine environments of the Southern Cone harbor flora and fauna very different from similar environments in North America. In this two-quarter program, we carry out intensive natural history studies of the unique organisms and ecosystems of Argentina, focusing on those of Patagonia.

After an introductory week in Olympia at the start of fall quarter, the study abroad portion of the program will commence with a 4-week intensive study of Spanish language in Buenos Aires to prepare us for our travels and studies in Argentina during fall and winter quarters. We will begin to study the flora and fauna of the Southern Cone through preliminary readings, lectures and class work in Buenos Aires. We will take a short trip to the sub-tropical province of Misiones during October, then move to the coastal and mountain regions of Patagonia in November. We will study the natural history of Patagonia, beginning with field studies on the Atlantic coast and then moving to the Andean Lakes District, taking advantage of the progressively warmer weather of the austral spring.

Students will conduct formal field exercises and keep field notebooks detailing their work and observations. We will read primary literature articles related to the biodiversity of Argentina and augment our field studies with seminars.

During winter quarter (summer in the southern hemisphere), students will reinforce their language skills with two weeks of intensive Spanish studies in Patagonia, examine montane habitats, then work in small groups on focused projects examining biodiversity topics. It will be possible to conduct more focused studies on specific ecosystems or organisms, including those in more southern parts of Patagonia, at this time of the year. Clear project goals, reading lists, timelines, etc., will be developed during fall quarter in order to insure successful projects in winter quarter. Examples of individual/small group projects include: comparisons of plant/animal biodiversity between coastal, desert and alpine zones; comparative studies on the impacts of ecotourism activities on biodiversity; or examining community composition of intertidal habitats along a gradient from north to south, among others.

The total estimated cost for this program (including expenses incurred over Thanksgiving and winter breaks) for food, lodging, transportation, Spanish language instruction and fieldwork activities (whale watching, national park fees, museum fees, etc.) is $7,575. The college’s current total estimated cost for food, lodging, etc. per quarter in Olympia is $4,005. With the low cost of living and traveling in Latin America, participating in this two quarter program will actually be less expensive than living in Olympia.

Maximum Enrollment: 15

Study Abroad: Argentina, 19 weeks, Fall and Winter, approximately $4,625. Amount covers lodging (except for four weeks in winter while students are conducting projects), 50% of food expenses, in-country long-distance transportation (except for local bus/subway expenses), and language training (four weeks in fall and two weeks in winter). The fee does not cover airfare (currently $750-$1,100 round trip), four weeks of lodging/transportation expenses while students are conducting projects during winter quarter (approximately $500), or lodging/food/travel/home stay during winter break (approximately $500). A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by August 27, 2010. Final payment deadline is September 20, 2010.

Upper Division Science Credit: Some upper-division science credit is possible and will be arranged with faculty on a case-by-case basis.

Preparatory for studies or careers in: biodiversity, conservation, field biology, Latin American studies, natural history and Spanish language.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: No Required Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com