Summer Programs

Alaska: Down to Earth

Denmark: Neuroscience of Fear

Engalnd: London Places and UK Spaces

Ethiopia: Bringing Ecology Back In: Terminating the Myth of the Economy-Society Quagrime

Kenya: Healthcare Delivery in a Developing Country

Rwanda: Engaging Rwanda: Conservation, Development, and Reconciliation

 

Alaska: Down to Earth

Instructor: Eileen Visser and Alexander Stewart

Dates: May 19 - 30

Cost: $4,800 + airfare  

Listing: BIOL/GEOL 248

Units: 1 SLU Unit/3.6 Credits 

Course Description: This course will take a three-fold approach linking physical and biological factors the the role of humans in this unique environment.  Students will practice collection of observational date on the geology and ecology of south central Alaska, and use these data to form the basis for discussions on fragility/resilience, the relationship between the value of nature as wilderness and/or resources in this last frontier, and the historical and current interactions of humans with the natural world.  They will apply the scientific method to answer questions about the interaction of socio-economic and political issues with geological and ecological factors. Emphasis will be placed upon formation of physical features and current dynamics of earthquakes, glaciers, and global climate change as well as the terrestrial and nearshore marine ecosystems and the contact they provide for human ecology, adaptive strategies sand resource utilization with the ecosystem.  Format will be field-based lessons, giving students the opportunity to be part of the physical and biological environment they study. Primary course object is to investigate the full scope of Alaskan ecology, the relationship between all living organisms, including humans, and the physical context with which they exist.  Prerequisites: GEOL 103 or BIOL 101 or ENVS 101 or permission of the instructors.

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Denmark: Neuroscience of Fear

Instructor: Ana Estevez and James Wallace

Dates: May 24 - June 14

Costs: Cost: $4,800 + airfare

Listing: NRSCI 247

Units: 1 SLU Unit/3.6 Credits

Course Description: Brain structures that control the fear response are shared across humans, mammals, birds, and reptiles.  These structures have been evolutionally preserved because fear helps to protect us from danger, injury, and death.  Though the dangers of modern society differ substantially from those of our ancient past, aspects of our primal fear instincts remain.  Are such emotions merely intrusions from another time or do they still have a function in our consciousness today?  With a focus on the fear response, we will examine the evolutionary aspects of emotions, how they are displayed in infancy, develop over time, and tie into decision-making in our everyday lives.  We will examine this issue from a multidisciplinary perspective, synthesizing recent work from the fields of biology, developmental psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy.

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England: London Places and UK Spaces

Instructor: Tom Greene

Dates: July 27 - August 16

Cost: $4,800 + airfare

Listing: PSYCH 220

Units: 1 SLU Unit/3.6 Credits 

Course Description: This course will examine the application of the general psychological processes that underlie environmental cognition, perception and livability to the unique context of London.  Within the broad framework of environmental psychology, we will encounter data and theories about spatial reasoning, behavioral geography and perception, and then apply our knowledge to molar experiences such as place attachment, landscape aesthetics, and the design of the built environments of London and environs.  London is a cosmopolitan city of tremendous variety.  It is notable in its integration of natural spaces and neighborhoods and the partial integration of various cultural enclaves into a place that at least appears cohesive.  Its architectural and cultural richness reflect many layers of history (quite literally in some locations where Modern, Roman, and Neolithic artifacts rest beside each other) and successive periods of both conquest and peaceful immigration.  Although the focus will be London, field trips will provide additional opportunities to think about the spirit of place (Neolithic sites near Swindon), and the sustainability of human habitats (the Eden Project in south west England).  Finally, we will attempt to apply newly acquired skills of observation to an entirely new location, the historic town of Canterbury.

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Ethiopia: Bringing Ecology Back In: Terminating the Myth of the Economy-Society Quagmire

Instructor: Dr. Mehretab Assefa and Florence Molk

Dates: May 22 - June 10

Cost: $4,800 + airfare

Listing: SOC/AFS/ANTH/GS 248

Units: 1 SLU Unit/3.6 Credits 

Course Description: Ethiopia, like all countries in the modern world-system, is trapped in a paradox; between the Modernity of Technology, which calls for Development or endless economic growth and Modernity of Liberation which is devoted to stable Liberal Democracy. While Development is founded on changeability, Liberation gives primacy to stability. To the casual observer, economic growth and social justice are two complementary things and their incompatibility with each other is normal requiring political/ideological resolution. To the critical mind however the antagonism is not a result of their mutual discreteness, but a function of their violent isolation. Their divergent rationales are symptoms of the contradiction of capitalist relational processes. Unending economic growth perpetually disrupts social stability inducing protective measures. Conversely, fixed social security undermines economic growth prompting economic liberalization, deregulation, etc. The history of the modern world-system is that growth and democracy are not only relatively sustained in the wealthy parts of the world, but also at the expense of their poor counterparts. Technological innovation is nothing but the transfer of production input (raw material and labor) and surplus value from peripheral to core regions of the world, and democratic entitlements are nothing but the redistribution of wealth in rich countries to the detriment of poor ones. Hence, students will see that for the world in general and poor countries in particular the choice should not be between economic growth and liberal democracy, it should instead be in forging alternative angle of vision of environmental justice based on ecological principle. Growth and welfare are in constant contradiction pitting nature against society. Environmental justice informed by ecological principle stresses the interrelation between economic sustainability and social harmony.

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Kenya: Healthcare Delivery in a Developing Country

Instructor: Dr. Wairimu Ndirangu

Dates: June 7-28

Costs: $5,300 + airfare

Listing: AFS 248/ANTH 248 

Units: 1.5 SLU Units/5.4 Credits

Course Description: This
community-based learning course explores critical issues about health care in a
resource-constrained environment both in Kenya and Uganda. The following are a
few of the questions that the course strives to answer: What formal and in­formal
institutions are most effective in providing preventive and primary health
care?   How can communities develop
participatory approaches to the management of HIV and other emerging
diseases?   Why do highly preventable
diseases still continue to burden Africans?  
What are the belief systems and health-seeking behaviors in different
populations, both rural and urban?   How
do traditional healing practices complement western medical approaches to
eradicate disease? How does health care delivery in East Africa compare to
other developed nations? What is the role of global warming in the emergence,
spread and virulence of tropical diseases such as malaria, cholera and other
water borne diseases? Highly acclaimed health care professionals and
researchers will address these and other issues. Students will be placed in
clinics, teaching hospitals, and community and rural health programs,
contributing to the work of the organization while assessing its role in the
broader provi­sion of health care. The course will be of interest to students
concerned about health, social welfare and eco­nomic justice.  It will not only expand the student's current
interest in the subjective areas of concern but provoke further questioning in
why health care delivery is such an important subject of study. The course
integrates fun activities that help students appreciate the landscapes of the
continent.

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Rwanda: Engaging Rwanda: Conservation, Development and Reconciliation

Instructor: Drs. Wendi Haugh and Amy Vedder

Dates: June 1 - 20

Costs: $5,300 + airfare

Listing: AFS/ANTH/BIO 248

Units: 1.5 SLU Units/5.4 Credits

Course Description: To many Americans, the African country of Rwanda is associated with a singular event – the horrific 1994 genocide.  Students on this course will explore the dramatic transformations that the country has gone through since the genocide.  From establishing and maintaining peace to laying the groundwork for an information technology-based economy, from supporting the formation of cooperatives to incubating innovative solutions to conservation problems, Rwanda has made great strides in the past two decades.  Students will engage this exciting country from an interdisciplinary perspective as they work to understand the economic, environmental, political, cultural, and social issues involved in rebuilding Rwanda, a process that includes conservation programs which aim to protect biodiversity while providing economic benefits to the nation and particularly to people living near national parks.  Students will also learn about tropical forest ecology, primate ecology and behavior, and biodiversity conservation, and have the opportunity to observe wild primates (including gorillas, depending on ticket availability) and other forest wildlife.  Throughout the course, students will learn about Rwanda through readings, discussions, and lectures, as well as through observation, participation, and conversation.  There will be opportunities for students to engage with Rwandans as they learn alongside Rwandan students, take guided tours of genocide memorials, ethnographic museums, and national parks, spend a day with the members of a crafts cooperative, spend two days in a village pursuing development through ecotourism, and hear presentations on various topics by Rwandan experts.  Dr. Haugh is a cultural anthropologist with extensive experience in eastern and southern Africa, and Dr. Vedder is a tropical ecologist who has worked in Rwanda over three decades and pioneered highly successful gorilla ecotourism and conservation programs there.

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