Peruvian Ecology: From the Andes to the Amazon
Ok, so this post is not about my research, but is about the exciting study abroad trip that I will be going on with Dr. Christy Flatt and several really cool students from Gordon State College. In May, we will be travelling to Peru as part of a study abroad program that examines the sociolgy of Peru in Cusco and for the biology students a course that examines the ecology of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon. While in the Amazon, we will be in the Tambopata region. I am really excited about this portion of the trip, because not only is it the AMAZON, but I am hoping to see some of the amphibians and reptiles of the region!
Over the past two years, Dr. Flatt and I have taken students on Study Abroad trips to Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country, filled with awesome biodiversity and great people. While I was there, I was only able to see a couple species of amphibians and reptiles. In Peru, I am hoping to see more since we will be in relatively less disturbed areas.
One of the really cool things about traveling to a topical location with a diverse group of students is watching them learn about nature, especially since many of them are not actually biology majors. They see amazing organisms that they probably never thought that they would encounter or maybe even didn’t exist before they saw them! I hope that they take away a message of why conservation is important to not only the organisms that live in an area, but to humans as well.
So far, I have met once with the students that are taking my biology course. We are all super exicted about the course and our trip to Peru. I think that our next meeting will be one here we look at some field guides and texts to start to appreciate the biodiversity of Peru and learning what is there before we see it!