Have you ever dreamed of being in the rain forest? On this program you will get to hike the trails, cross the rivers, and hear the famous Coqui frogs call to each other. You will conduct environmental projects in the Caribbean National Rain Forest, El Yunque, in the northeast corner of Puerto Rico as part of the Long Term Ecological Studies. Then we will travel to the west coast of the island to see and hear case studies on the relationships between humans and the environment. Emphasis will be on environmental justice and environmental movements. This class is designed for non-scientists who want to understand how scientific research that collects ecological data can be used to forecast environmental events. Is global warming real? Or just a scare tactic. You decide.
Perhaps watching bioluminescent diatoms sparkle in the night from a pontoon boat on a tropical bay is your sense of adventure. We will have an excursion to Bahia Fosforescente at Parquera, one of the world’s few remaining phosphorescent bays. In addition, we will have excursions to the El Portal Rain Forest Interpretative Center in El Yunque; the mangrove nature reserve at Las Cabezes de San Juan; Hacienda Buena Vista, a coffee plantation still successfully operating the same way they did in the 1800’s; Casa Pueblo, a sustainable community in the interior mountains of the island; and Las Salinas, a “green” salt factory. We will even have time for a “beach day” in San Juan at Isla Verde Beach.
All ground travel will be in a 20-passenger limo-bus. While in the rain forest, you will live at El Verde Field Station in apartments. You will have classes in the rain forest and in a modern laboratory with computers for your use. We will cook our own group meals in a central kitchen. Students will be expected to take turns helping clean up. Case studies will take place in Mayaguez where you will live in modern hotel rooms with private baths in a converted monastery operated by Howard Johnson. You will have a short walk to our classroom at the University of Puerto Rico.