Tulane University - Amazonian Culture and Environment

Stone Center Summer Abroad Program, June 2-27, 2018 

Application Deadline March, 2018   Apply                           

 

Academics

All students take 2 classes for (6 credits):

 

Program Director: William Balée

Professor of Anthropology  

 

Prof. Balée is a renowned expert on the historical ecology of the Amazon Basin who has worked for many years in some of the most remote areas of the Brazilian Amazon.  His work has contributed greatly to the understanding  the Amazonian as an "anthropogenic" forest shaped by the interaction of indigenous peoples with their environment before the European discovery of America as well as in more recent times. In this course you will have a chance to work with Dr. Balée as he investigates the historical human impact on the western Amazon.

 

Although there will be lectures and  discussions of readings much of the class time will be spent out in the forests or engaging indigenous peope.  The course includes a 3 day visit to Ecuador's Yasuní national park which is one of the wildest areas left on earth.  While there we will interview recently contacted indigenous members of the Waorani nation.  We also expect to see many species of wild life while in the Yasuní

Morning

 

ANTH: 3710-01 Historical Ecology of Amazonia

Prof. William Balée

Course Description

Interactions between local peoples and Amazonian landscapes from prehistory to the present. Amazonian landscapes as an analytic unit will be examined from the interdisciplinary perspective of historical ecology. Changes and development of forests and savannas since the arrival of human beings. Historical, ecological, cultural forces involved in biological and edaphic diversity in modern forests. Long-term effects of prehistoric and historic human occupations and manipulation of landscapes. Implications for conservation and development.

 

Course Requirements

 

journal (40%)

oral and written posting of daytime field findings on language, culture, environment (40%) [due in evenings] (40%)

exam on readings [retakable as p/f] 20%

Afternoon

 

ANTH:  3060-01 South American Indians

Prof. William Balée

   (meets Cultural Anthropology distribution requirement for the Anthropology Major).

View from the Hotel Real Audiencia of the historic Santo Domingo Church built in 1540 where you will stay on your first night in Quito.

A jungle stream you will explore with your classmates.

A jungle stream you will explore with your classmates.

Chocolate harvested and made by Field School students.

 

Cost

 

Cost : In-State; $5000; (Includes lodging, 3 meals per day 6 credits of tuition in country travel and excursions). 

 

Itinerary (tentative)

 

Saturday  June 2

11:30 PM Arrive in Quito Shuttle to Real Audiencia

 

Sunday, June 3 

8:00 AM Breakfast

9:00 AM Tour colonial Quito (founded 1535)

12:00 Lunch At Hotel Real Audiencia

1:PM  Bus to Andes and Amazon Field School

2:30  AM  Bathe in volcanic hot springs

2:00 PM  Visit Guango Hummingbird Lodge (See 11 species of humming birds in large numbers.)

6:30 PM Arrive at the Andes and Amazon Field School

7:00 PM Dinner

Monday, June 4    

8:00 Breakfast  

9-12  Swanson, Introduction to Ecuador's history and Environment.  Plenary Lecture in thatched dining room.

1:00 Lunch

2-5  Hike up the Canoa Yaku

7:00 Dinner

 

Tuesday,  June 5    

8:00 Breakfast

9-12   Competing theories of Amazon forest origins
Piperno 2015; Stahl 2015 (The Holocene); 
discussion; journal entry on reading.

1:00 Lunch

2-5  

7:00 Dinner

 

Wednesday  June 6

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  Learn to identify 5 or 6 plant families.

1:00 Lunch

2-5  

7:00 Dinner

 

Thursday,  June 7 

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  Historical ecology (Balee 2006)
Diiscussion and Journal Entry.

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

Friday June 8 .  

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  Archaeology of the forest
Myers et al. 2003
journal; dicussion

1:00 Lunch

2-5 

7:00 Dinner

Saturday June 9   Free Day.  No Class.

Sunday June 10     Free Day.  No class.

Monday June 11

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  

on indigenous knowledge: what do they know, and when did they know it? 

Balee 2010a

(Diversity article)

journal; discussion

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

Tuesday June 12

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  field trip to kitchen gardens
Denevan and McCann
discussion

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

Wednesday, June 13    

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  field trip to 40 year old forest
Balee 2010b (Tipiti article)
journal; discussion

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

Thursday,  June 14    

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  earthwork construction
Watling et al. 2015
journal; discussion

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

Friday,  June 15   

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  anthropogenesis and language
Balee 2009 in C. Adams et al. (eds.)
paper on the origins of the cacao word; discussion

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

 

Saturday June 16  Free Day.  No Class.

Sunday June 17    Free Day.  No Class.

Monday June 18

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  Visit to the Yasuni National Park 

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

 

Tuesday June 19

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  Guided exploration of Yasuni Park: biology and ecology

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

Wednesday, June  20   

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  Guided exploration of Yasuni Park: biology and ecology

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

Thursday, June  21  

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  Return from Yasuni

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

Friday,  June 22  

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

 

Saturday June 23   Free Day.  No Class.

Sunday June 24   Free Day.  No Class.

Monday June 25

8:00 Breakfast
9-12  Emic anthrpogenesis (indigenous  views of landscape transformation in the Amazon)

1:00 Lunch
2-5   
7:00 Dinner

 

Tuesday June 26

8:00 Breakfast

9-12  Emic anthrpogenesis (indigenous  views of landscape transformation in the Amazon)

Finish journal entries; take retakable exam

1:00 Lunch

2-5   

7:00 Dinner

 

Wednesday, June  27 

8:00 Breakfast

Course wind up
​Travel to the airport.

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