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  • Locations: Cuzco, Peru
  • Program Terms: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 03/15/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Program Description:

Discover Tropical Biodiversity and Environmental Journalism in Peru

A biological and journalistic trek across Peru, through Earth's highest biodiversity landscapes from the Andes to the Amazon Basin. This is where some of the most important research on biodiversity and the earth systems has been done, and where it has been reported/communicated in many media. We’ll continue the exploration in these two disciplines and examine their relationship throughout our journey. We will look at the environmental, biological, and human factors affecting diversity, and learn how to report on, photograph, film and write about it in terms of science, adventure, and travel for print, online, and broadcast.

The intensive, field based Peru program provides hands on experiences in the wide range of environments Peru has to offer. Immersion in this setting allows students to see and experience the ways nature and culture mingle and how the past informs the present.  Over a four week period, we visit five of Peru's ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites and see nature at its wildest, and the relationship between humans and nature from isolated indigenous populations to a gold rush rivaling California in the 1850s.

Taking both classes allows students to fulfill seven hours of requirements for the Environmental Minor, Latin American Studies Minor, as well as taking classes that count towards the Biology Major and Journalism Minor.

Summer 2019, Summer Session II. Tentatively, June 30 - July 25, 2019

 
peru peru mud peru monkey Peru pelicans Peru seals Peru miles and justin
Overview A biological and journalistic trek across Peru, through Earth's highest biodiversity landscapes from the Andes to the Amazon Basin. This is where some of the most important research on biodiversity and the earth systems has been done, and where it has been reported/communicated in many media. We’ll continue the exploration in these two disciplines and examine their relationship throughout our journey. We will look at the environmental, biological, and human factors affecting diversity, and learn how to report on, photograph, film and write about it in terms of science, adventure, and travel for print, online, and broadcast.

The intensive, field based Peru program provides hands on experiences in the wide range of environments Peru has to offer. Immersion in this setting allows students to see and experience the ways nature and culture mingle and how the past informs the present.  Over a four week period, we visit five of Peru's ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites and see nature at its wildest, and the relationship between humans and nature from isolated indigenous populations to a gold rush rivaling California in the 1850s.

Taking both classes allows students to fulfill seven hours of requirements for the Environmental Minor, Latin American Studies Minor, as well as taking classes that count towards the Biology Major and Journalism Minor.

Summer 2019, Summer Session II. Tentatively, June 30 - July 25, 2019

Get a glimpse of the 2017 course by viewing the class blog -  http://cloud.lib.wfu.edu/blog/amazon2017/

The following are links highlighting some of the science and environmental issues they we will be exploring while in Peru. 
http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/05/17/398765777/who-did-this-to-perus-jungle
http://www.npr.org/2009/09/14/112535943/the-amazon-road-paving-paradise-for-progress
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112861679
Location Peru boasts magnificent natural and cultural diversity. It is considered the world's second-most diverse country for birds, as well as having the third-greatest mammal diversity, and the fifth-greatest plant diversity.  Not coincidentally, Peru was the ancient heartland of numerous pre-Columbian civilizations including the Chavín Civilization, Paracas Culture, and vast Inca Empire. Immersion in this setting allows students to see and experience the ways nature and culture mingle and how the past informs the present. On this program, we visit five of Peru's ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites and examine the co-mingling of flora, fauna, and geology with temples, parks, and residences.
Program The intensive, field based Peru program provides hands on experiences in the wide range of environments Peru has to offer. The group travels by plane, train, boat, and bus to numerous sites over a four week period.  Students begin the program in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire where they explore the colonial city. Along the way, students conduct research projects in cloud forest and visit famous Inca ruins including Machu Picchu, sample local cuisine, and learn Quechua phrases. Next, students descend through the cloud forest brimming with wild orchids and stunning birds before travelling on to Manu National Park, located in the Amazon basin. The group travels by boat down the Alto Madre de Dios River to Cocha Cashu Biological Station, in the heart of the largest tropical wilderness left on earth.  Cocha Cashu is home to healthy populations of giant otters, white-lipped peccaries, jaguars, and 13 species of monkey. 

Students take BIO 349 Tropical Biodiversity (4 hrs) and/or JOU 288 Travel Journalism (3 hrs). Preference will be given to students who enroll in both courses, as they will be taught in conjunction over the duration of the program. The interdisciplinary design of this program gives students a unique opportunity to experience one of the wildest places on Earth and consider its natural and cultural significance through intensive, field based research, on-site interviews and experience. Course work will consist of daily lectures, readings, hands-on field research, a full range of journalistic interviewing, reporting and writing skills and techniques, and a final project.  At all the sites they visit, students will be collecting, analyzing, and identifying a wide variety of plant species, and evaluating the possible stories and blog posts that emerge from interviews and observations. Journalistic reporting is the critical means by which decision makers and the public get information about environmental issues. The communication can be as important as the science itself, but it is rarely explored in tandem.  

Taking both classes allows students to fulfill seven hours of requirements for the Environmental Minor, Latin American Studies Minor, as well as taking classes that count towards the Biology Major and Journalism Minor.

Students will engage directly with the research programs of the professor and are encouraged to pursue projects of their own after the courses. Opportunities for fieldwork, reporting and internships are available. 
For more information, see also:
http://tropicalbiodiversity.blogspot.com/
http://myperuviansummer.blogspot.com/
Faculty Dr. Miles Silman
Professor of Biology
Phone: (336) 758 5596
E-mail: silmanmr@wfu.edu

Justin Catanoso
Director of Journalism
Phone: (336) 758 3916
E-mail: catanojj@wfu.edu
 
Accommodation Students stay in a variety of accommodations including hotels, hostels, cabins, and tents.
Excursions  
Selection
  • Preference is given to students who take both courses
  • Good academic standing
  • Interest in Peruvian culture and biology
  • No course prerequisites or language requirements
Costs The total cost of summer study abroad can be broken down into four categories:
  • Program Fee - Usually covers room, in-country travel, excursions, some meals and other costs associated with the program.
  • Tuition – Students on WFU summer programs pay WFU summer school tuition per credit hour. The 2018 summer rate is $900/per credit hour. 
  • Airfare (estimated) – Varies per location. Students are responsible for their own airfare unless otherwise noted.
  • Personal Expenses (estimated) – These will vary depending on the students' spending habits, cost of living in the destination country, and the number of meals included in the program fee. This may also include visa fees, vaccinations, academic supplies/books and other miscellaneous daily expenses.
Program Fee (estimated) - $4,100
Tuition (7 hours) - $6,300 
Airfare (estimated) - $1,200
Personal Expenses (estimated) - $400
Estimated total cost - $12,000
Scholarships Please contact the Center for Global Programs and Studies for information on summer scholarships
http://studyabroad.wfu.edu/funding/#Summer%20Scholarship Information.

Sullivan Scholarships may be available for students participating on this program. Awards up to $2,500. To apply go here http://college.wfu.edu/biology/undergraduate/sullivan-fund/ 

The Journalism dept has a scholarship available for this program. Contact Prof. Catanoso for more information. 
Contact Dr. Miles Silman
Professor of Biology
Phone: (336) 758 5596
E-mail: silmanmr@wfu.edu

Justin Catanoso
Director of Journalism
Phone: (336) 758 3916
E-mail: catanojj@wfu.edu

Michael Tyson
Assistant Director for Study Abroad: Summer and Short Term Programs
Center for Global Programs and Studies
116 Reynolda Hall
Phone: (336) 758 4072
E-mail: tysonmj@wfu.edu
Testimonials