Faculty: Dr. Ursula Shepherd
Student Teacher: Jessica Martin
Program Fee: $1,600 and a $600 non-refundable deposit
Mendoza, Argentina and Socorro, New Mexico lie at almost the same latitudes S and N. This field-based class will travel throughout New Mexico and will visit Argentina as we examine how this geographical reality impacts the two regions. We will cover several topics: geology and evolutionary history of the two regions, physical geography, biogeography, biodiversity, land use and water resources. Students will learn about climate as well as landforms and will become familiar with such concepts as physiographic provinces, biomes, convergent evolution as they work in the two locales. Both regions have biosphere reserves that will be an important part of the field study (Jornada in New Mexico, and Ñacuñán in the province of Mendoza, Argentina). This class will also provide an opportunity for students to learn basic ecology field techniques as they compare regions and assess the diversity found in each.
In addition, we will observe the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (Feb 12, 2009) by exploring his connections with Mendoza and other parts of Argentina. We will read sections of his writings and will visit at least one site that he mentioned, when we climb up into the Andes on the way to the Chilean border.
This seminar will be offered ONLY in conjunction with the 4-unit companion class also entitled “From the Rockies to the Andes.” The combined classes provide a strongly interdisciplinary focus on the two areas covered. We will meet all day on Fridays to allow sufficient time for field trips in New Mexico. In addition, there will be one overnight field trip that requires participation on a Saturday as well as Friday. Travel to Argentina will be from March 12th–22nd. We will not meet for at least two weeks during the second half of the semester, but there will be class for 3 hours during the last three weeks to allow for student presentations. These classes will meet from 9-12 each Friday.
Students must pay a non-refundable deposit of $600 at the time of acceptance into the class and there will be a course fee of approximately $1600 due during registration. This fee will cover almost all expenses (except for a couple of meals) while in Argentina as well as for several field trips during the semester. Students must sign up for both courses (UHON 301-014 and UHON 301-013); however, they only pay a single program fee+deposit of $2,200. In other words, students will not get charged twice.
A course reader will be provided on e-reserve. This will include writings by such authors as Josiah Gregg and Ricardo Ojeda, as well as classic papers in biogeography and ecology. In addition, there will be two books:
Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
Seeing Things Whole: The Essential John Wesley Powell, edited by William deBuys
As always, students are expected to attend all classes, to prepare and complete all assigned readings and to participate in the class discussions and regular assignments such as lab reports or worksheets. Each student will keep a journal throughout the class. This will act as a scientific notebook as well as a more traditional journal. There will be a final individual research project with a paper and an oral presentation of that work.
This course fulfills 4 credit hours of Arts and Sciences group requirements in Physical & Natural Sciences.