The Fall 2024 program will be directed by Centre College professor, Dr. Genny Ballard.
Students will take a full course load on the Global Environmental Challenges program.
Students will enroll in three courses in Cuenca over a span of 12 weeks; the fourth
course, Environment, Conservation, and Policy Issues in Ecuador, will be taught as a
three-week module in the Amazon river basin and the Galapagos. There is no Spanish
requirement to enroll in the program; however, all students will be required to take a
Spanish language course at their level. The following are the proposed courses for the
program, pending final faculty approval:
- ENS: Environment, Conservation, and Policy Issues in Ecuador (all
students take this course)
- This course introduces students to the most influential factors shaping the ecosystems and their conservation, looking at the global, regional and local factors that determine the climates and the contrasting ecosystems that can be found in Ecuador. The course includes several field visits to the Ecuadorian Amazon (Tiputini Biodiversity Station) and the Galapagos Islands. Thus, allowing students to experience first-hand current topics of conservation and policy issues, while discussing the main environmental challenges associated with the conservation of natural ecosystems in
tropical developing countries.
- ENS: Environmental Challenges: Linking the Global to the Local
- This course examines local environmental challenges in Cuenca, Ecuador, and explores connections to the broader global context. Emphasis will be placed on learning about the ways and beliefs of local cultures and understanding the difficulties in maintaining cultural identity in today’s environmental economic climate. This course will focus on rural communities, sustainability, food systems, and agriculture.
- Experiential learning will be a significant element of the course, and students will visit local communities and NGOs so that students can learn from those who are most affected by these issues.
- Latin American Studies: Human Relationships with the Environment in
- Latin America is home to some of the world’s most famous landscapes from Amazonian forests that metabolize carbon to Andean peaks where melting glaciers portray the devastating effect of climate change. From colonial-era silver mines to vast monocrop palm oil, sugarcane, and banana plantations, Latin American natural resources have played a central role in the development of economies, cultures, and societies in the region and around the world. This course will survey changing human relationships with the natural world in Latin America from the pre-Columbian period; through colonization and the colonial era; through the independence struggles of the nineteenth century; to contested visions of nationalism, economic development, and use of natural resources in the twentieth century; on down to the environmental questions that the region faces today. We will examine both how different peoples have understood, lived with, used, and transformed the environment as well as how the natural world has shaped human histories. We will draw on readings from multiple disciplinary perspectives (including history, anthropology, the humanities and geography) to analyze processes of imperialism, development, global climate change, and the degradation of natural resources. Texts and learning materials include: indigenous environmental perspectives, ethnographies, an environmental justice documentary, a climate fiction novel, environmental activist essays, films, short stories, and poetry that portray: nature, the environment, natural disasters, climate change, and environmental activism. We will also have local guest lecturers and artists as visitors to this class.
- SPA 100-300: Options include two levels of beginner, two levels of intermediate,
two levels of advanced grammar, and two advanced content courses.