Thursday, January 29th at 4:00-5:00 PM
Monday, February 9th at 5:00-6:00 PM
Both held in North Classroom 3524
Costa Rica offers a rich and unique stage with some of the best examples in the world for the study of socio-cultural, economic and environmental systems and their interactions, including: humid tropical forests, plant, animal and insect diversity, historical and socio-cultural influences from Mesoamerica and South America, the use of ecotourism as a development alternative, one of the largest water transfer projects in the world (Lake Arenal), environmental justice and development, large hydro-electric production plants and wind energy farms, resort developments, natural hazards, extensive vs. ecological/integrated tropical cattle ranching, agriculture and forestry, and unique turtle nesting sites and conservation projects.
Students will analyze and then experience in the field how human societies and economies are complex systems embedded within the natural environment, another complex adaptive system, on which they depend for support. Since these three systems interact and coevolve, the sustainability goal translates more accurately into a goal of Sustainable Development. Learning from experience and adapting to changing conditions are essential to Adaptive Management of the environment and resources. Students will apply systems thinking to conceptualize these terms and analyze their socio-economic implementations in tropical rainforests, high tropical forests, dry costal tropical forests, dry coastal areas, lagoon ecosystems and river estuaries.