This summer, I have the wonderful opportunity of studying abroad as part of the Quito Summer Environmental Studies program in Ecuador. The program based in the capital of Ecuador, Quito, features field studies on issues facing environmental management and preservation in the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon region and the Andean highlands. I will also be enrolled in three courses during the summer at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
Despite its small size, Ecuador is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world. It features four eco-regions -- the Amazon basin, the high Andes, the coastal plain, and the Galápagos Islands – which attracts scientists and tourists alike from around the world. I will be taking two environmental studies courses, “Ecuadorian Ecosystems” and “Environmental Issues: Conservation and Public Policy in Ecuador”. Studying the Ecuadorean ecosystem will be a great experience since I will be able to study the unique and diverse environment of Ecuador. I am especially interested in the policy course because it is critical to environmental issues. The course analyzes the theoretical perspectives that contribute to the field of Political Ecology. Another interesting aspect would be to understand how politics dictates environmental projects and how heavily involved the government is in the process. In my opinion, every environmental scientist should be knowledgeable about the politics behind the field of environmental sciences. I also look forward to enrolling in the basic Spanish course. I hope to learn and understand the fundamental principles of the language to better interact with the people.
I will be staying with an Ecuadorian family during my time in the country so I am excited about the culture, people and the food! Living with the local family will help me practice the language, learn the culture and different perspectives and practices personally. I look forward to exploring the Amazon rainforest region and taking in all the flora and fauna that Ecuador offers!
- By Edem Yevoo
Dr. Kate Tully
Kate is an Assistant Professor of Agroecology at the University of Maryland.