Students in this course co-develop an Eco-Leadership program in Paraguay with our partner, Para La Tierra.
| Planned dates |
Course planned for 2022
|On the Web:||May – December|
|Credits:||7 graduate credits from Miami University; course can be applied to the Global Field Program.|
|Course Cost:|| Projected 2021 Field course (in-country + web): $3,225 (price includes tuition for 5 graduate credits and in-country costs) + airfare to Asunción, Paraguay|
Projected 2021 Fall project course (web, required): $790 (price includes tuition for 2 graduate credits)
Nestled in the heart of South America, Paraguay is home to the beautifully delicate Cerrado, the lush Atlantic Forest, the challenging Gran Chaco, and other rare and secluded ecosystems that have received little study and deserve far more attention. Some of Paraguay’s rather unusual fauna include the Chacoan peccary (first discovered in fossil form and thought to be long extinct, but as it turns out they are quite alive as seen in one of the banner photos above), owl monkeys, giant anteaters, guanacos, white-winged nightjars, and more than half the world’s species of armadillo, including such representatives as the greater fairy and the screaming hairy armadillo.
Environmental awareness is on the rise in Paraguay but contends with increasingly strong pressure from population growth, agriculture, cattle ranching, hunting, and construction. The presence of conservation organizations in Paraguay is quite limited, and there is a critical need to better understand and to build on the traditionally close relationship between local people and the land on which they depend.
Students in this course will have the unique opportunity to co-develop an Eco-Leadership program for Paraguay, working in partnership with Para La Tierra (PLT), a nonprofit conservation organization devoted to scientific research, conservation, and community engagement. The founding Director of PLT, Karina Atkinson, is a Global Conservation Fellow with Project Dragonfly. Her work has earned a Rolex Award, and she and the PLT team are deeply committed to supporting the next generation of conservation and education leaders. Students will learn with Paraguayan youth and others the diverse skills required for effective eco-leadership, including methods for assessing wildlife populations; how to develop public exhibits, participatory media, and community events celebrating local biota; how to evaluate both educational and ecological outcomes, and how to support the ingenuity of local teams to foster local knowledge creation and informed environmental action.
Prior to and following the field experience in Paraguay, students will complete coursework via DragonflyWorkshops’ Web-based Learning Community as they apply experiences to their home institutions.