Land-Ocean Interface Summer Program
Belize: San Ignacio
Efforts to protect the environment have historically dealt with terrestrial and marine ecosystems separately. More recently, scientists have come to understand that terrestrial and marine ecosystems are intimately connected. They have come to understand that a holistic approach that takes into account this interconnectivity is necessary if efforts to protect the environment are to be successful. Galen University's Land-Ocean Interface environmental program will afford students the opportunity to study terrestrial and marine ecosystems in Belize to understand how they are connected.
The Land-Ocean Interface program will be divided into two courses. During the first two weeks, students will undertake a comprehensive study of some of Belize's terrestrial ecosystems in ESCI 430 (Topics in Earth-Space Science). This will be done via a combination of targeted presentations and discussion sessions followed by extensive field work experience. Students will be led by an experienced expert in forestry and biodiversity protection in studying the complete array of ecosystems from a tropical broadleaf ecosystem in the mountains, through a pine savanna ecosystem, and ending in an estuarine ecosystem. Students will study the structure, function, and dynamics of each ecosystem, as well as the interconnection between them and the coastal ocean. Students will be divided into teams and keep journals of their activities. Each team will produce a report on their field activities at the end of the course.
During the third and fourth weeks students will enroll in ESCI 430 (Topics in Earth-Space Science) which will be devoted to a Marine Practicum course. In this course, students will engage in field work at one of Belize's marine protected areas. Students will be led by an instructor with years of experience in marine protected areas management in several projects with park personnel. Each day will be devoted to field activities followed by lab and discussion sessions. Students will study the ecology of coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds, with an emphasis on the impact of land-based sources of pollutants on these ecosystems. The emphasis will be on understanding how the processes studied in the marine ecosystem are affected by the terrestrial ecosystems.
*The only U.S. accredited program in Belize
*Well managed study abroad programs with full support services
* Lush tropical campus
* Experienced and committed faculty
* Exciting course load with an emphasis on experiential learning
* Diverse student population
* Full cultural immersion experience
* Bilingual community: opportunity to practice Spanish
* Easy access to Belize's many tourist attractions