An Adventure in Learning at Concordia - Concordia University

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An Adventure in Learning at Concordia - Concordia University

An Adventure in Learning at ConcordiaAn Archaeological Adventure:The cultural practices of the ancient Maya hada profound impact on the ecosystems of CentralAmerica. Today, there are majestic remains ofthis proud group of people in the form ofintricately inscribed stellae, huge temples, andprecious artifacts. Step back in time with usto investigate thereligious andculturalceremonies ofthese people,learn how theylived, and explorereasons for thecollapse of thisculture.A Cultural Adventure:Belize is a developing country, and, as such,the people there lead a way of life foreign tomost of us. Many roads, even major ones, areunpaved. Walking, bicycling and horsebackriding are major means of transportation andsubsistence farming methods are common.Homes in rural areas are of simple design —often without indoor plumbing or electricity.Yet these people have a rich, proud culture that,in many respects we might envy. In this courseyou will likely interact with people fromseveral distinct cultures — including Garafuna,Creole and Mayan.A Social/Spiritual Adventure:When a group of 20 people from two differentcampuses live, travel, study, laugh, eat, playand learn together for several days they developfriendship that often last a lifetime.Additionally, positive internationalrelationships develop as we eat at local restaurantsand interact with business owners and localsfrom Belize and Guatemala. And in theevenings we make memories together bywatching sunsets, playing games, singing, andlying on the boat docks looking up at the stars.Though this is a upper-level college course thatinvolves disciplined, rigorous work, there alsowill be considerable free time to explore theirown interests, especiallyon theCaribbean islandwe will visit. Studentstypicallyreturn to the U.S.feeling like itreally was an emotionallyrelaxingspring break.“Come and see what God hasdone, how awesome his works inman’s behalf!” Ps. 66:5A Natural History Adventure:The tropics probably contain the greatestdiversity of wildlife of any place on earth. Inthe rain forest we frequently see birds such asparrots, trogans, and toucans as well asmammals such as monkeys, coatis, pacas andsloths. When we snorkel among the coral reefsand lagoon of the Caribbean we will see anamazing variety of sponges and corals thatprovide habitat for many brittle stars, crabs,lobsters, and anemones.Also common aresquid, spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks,dolphins, starfish, sea cucumbers, and dozensof bony fish species.We even occasionallysee endangered manateesand sea turtles.Your senses will betotally saturated withthe sights, sounds,smells, tastes andtextures of thebountiful wildlife of thetropics. And we’ll lookat environmental concerns to explore ways wecan be better stewards of this special place.For additional information and updatescall Dr. Larry Meissner (Austin) at 512-313-5504 or Dr. Sergei Polozov(Portland) at (503) 280-8123


Fees:The course fee for students taking the coursewill be published soon. The field portion of thecourse covered by course fees begins and endsat the Goldson International Airport in Belize.The course fee includes all travel in Belize,lodging, entrance fees to parks and preserves,and meals from dinner on March 9 throughbreakfast on March 13.Other costs: Studentsmust make internationalflight arrangements toget to and from the BZEairport on their own.Students will purchase food for the final fourdays of the trip in local restaurants or grocerystores which averages about $20 per day.Other possible expenses include the cost of apassport, tips and souvenirs.Registration:Though enrollment is open to any student,those with some biology course backgroundwill benefit most. Students cannot register forthis course online; they must register for it inperson and show a receipt for payment of a$200 nonrefundable deposit at the Student SupportOffice. Full payment is due at the sametime other spring semester tuition and fee paymentsare due.Tentative ItineraryPretrip and Posttrip Coursework:There will be some assigned readings andstreaming video assignments on Blackboardprior to and after the field experience. Also,there is a mid-term and a final exam.The Spring Break Field Experience:March 7 - Travel to the Goldson InternationalAirport in Belize (BZE) on your ownmeeting at the Maya Airways ticket counterno later than 4:00 p.m.; group departure bybus to Succotz in Western Belize; overnightstay at the Trek Stop the next four nightsMarch 8 -- Hike in the forests adjacent to theTrek Stop; visit a butterfly gardenMarch 9 — Visit Chechem Hah CavesMarch 10 — Trip to Tikal in Guatemala;explore some of the most spectacular Mayanruins in the world and observe tropical forestwildlifeMarch 11 — Take a bus to Belize City with astop at the Belize Zoo on the way; take awater taxi to Caye Caulker in the Caribbean;overview of the island ; overnight at Tom’sHotel the next four nightsMarch 12 — Snorkeling lessons; snorkel in thelagoon; study beach plant communitiesMarch 13 — Snorkeling trip to visit Hol ChanMarine Bioreserve and other reef areasMarch 14 — Visit the Manatee Preserve;snorkeling trip to Goff CayeMarch 15 — Return to the Belize InternationalAirport in early morning arriving at theGoldson International Airport (BZE) by 9:00a.m.; the field portion of the course ends atthis point and students are on their own toextend their stay or return to their homecampus via flight arrangements madepreviously.BIO 3302Tropical Biology—Belize — 20114A Collaborative Experience betweenConcordia University TexasandConcordia University, Portland

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