Cloud Forest Institute & Amazon Mycorenewal Project
Ecuadorian Political Ecology, Oil Pollution, and Mycoremediation
Service Learning Course with Spanish Language and Science Labs
Dec 15, 2009 – Jan 15, 2010 (or select dates)
REGISTER ONLINE TODAY (SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE) :http://www.livingmandala.com/Living_Mandala/Ecuador_Mycoremediation.html
The Cloud Forest Institute in collaboration with the Amazon Mycorenewal Project and The Clean Up Oil Waste Project invite undergraduate, graduate and lifelong students to attend our 2009 Winter Service Learning Course on Ecuadorian Political Ecology, Oil Pollution, and Mycoremediation.
Mycoremediation is a developing scientific field experimenting with mushrooms to sequester toxins. Mycelium is now being tested in Ecuador in an effort to clean up billions of gallons of toxic oil wastes left behind by Chevron Texaco during its 20 years of operation there (for which the company is currently on trial in perhaps the largest environmental lawsuit in history).
This course will take students to Quito, Lago Agrio, Mindo and Cuyabeno to experience the striking biological and cultural diversity of Ecuador’s many regions including the Andes Mountains and Amazon Rainforest. Students will participate in the development of ground breaking mycoremediation technology and study Latin American political ecology. Service learning with local community members will help heal lands polluted by the oil industry. Students can receive independent study credit through their existing college or universities.
Students may enroll in four week-long sections individually or for the entire month long course in which we will examine Ecuadorian cultural traditions, political ecology, oil economics, toxicity and bioremediation. You may also pick and choose which courses you would like to attend in sections of one-week, individually.
COURSE DESCRIPTION & ITINERARY*
A Country Study: Introduction to Ecuadorian Culture, History and Ecology
Monday, December 14th: Arrive in Quito, evening introductions, welcome and orientation. Tuesday, December 15th: Morning tour through colonial Quito, we spend the first day learning about Ecuador’s history and culture, including do’s and taboo’s and the importance of respectful behavior while in a foreign country. Afternoon travel to Lago Agrio for the first Mycorenewal Workshop.
Section 1 – Field Study: Mycorenewal of Toxic Sites Wednesday, December 16th – Monday, December 22nd
Students journey to Lago Agrio with the Amazon Mycorenewal Project. This Service Learning mycoremediation course will run in conjunction with community workshops training locals to utilize mycorenewal techniques to clean toxic petroleum pollution. A seed germination toxicity experiment will be installed to test the effectiveness of previous AMP experiments of soil mycoremediation by observing seed ability to germinate and grow. This will take place during two week-long workshops.
Section 2 – Cloud Forest Conservation Holiday Retreat Tuesday, December 23rd – Sunday, December 28th
While the seeds germinate, students journey to Mindo where they enjoy the cloud forest while learning about Ecuador’s incredibly diverse ecology. Students will be able to participate in a wide range of activities while in Mindo including bird watching, hiking, mushroom hunting, river rafting, visiting waterfalls, orchid and butterfly attractions, and just relaxing by the riverside amongst the butterflies and hummingbirds. Topics to be covered include Biology of the Cloud Forest, Threats to the Cloud Forest, and Conservation of the Cloud Forest. Spanish language instruction is available during this session. Sunday 28th: Leave Mindo and go back to Quito for the night.
Section 3 – Journey Into the New Year Monday, December 29th – Monday, January 5th
In this session, students foray into the Amazon wilderness in Cuyabeno to observe an intact Amazonian environment. Activities include hiking, mushroom hunting, swimming, fishing, and canoeing. Students will meet with indigenous community members and spend time in ritual with shamans of the community.
Section 4 – Myco Workshop II Tuesday, January 6th – Thursday, January 14th
Peak Oil Issues – Production: Destruction of Ecology, Community and Traditional Ways of Life
The course then returns to Lago Agrio for the final session and completion of the seed germination experiment. Stops along the way introduce students to communities and show toxic sites abandoned by the oil industry, including pipeline ruptures, abandoned wells, and communities located near active wells. Thursday 14th: Farewell dinner. Program ends.
* Itinerary dates subject to adjustment.
$1,000 per section or $3,600 when enrolled in all four sections. Cost covers food, lodging and in country transportation, special gear, as well as all activities listed in the itinerary. Spanish language instruction is optional and costs $10 per hour for individual instruction; this cost may be split between up to 5 students of the same ability level. Additional costs not covered may include, but are not limited to: airfare, required travel insurance, optional travel immunizations, suggested reading, beverages, souvenirs, tips and donations. $100 articulation and curriculum fee for students seeking college credit through independent study. Spanish instruction is included in the $1000 individual section cost for the Cloud Forest Holiday Retreat.
Limited scholarships are sometimes available. Students may inquire with Cloud Forest Institute to find out more.
FACULTY & STAFF
Freeda Alida Burnstad, Director Cloud Forest Institute
Course organizer and promoter. Acts in a supportive capacity to the course and course leaders while in Ecuador. Guest speaker during Cloud Forest portion. AMP team member.
Lindsay Ofrias, The Clean Up Oil Waste Project LLC Founder
New York City liaison. Person of contact for students interested in attending the workshops. Collaborates with universities, NGO’s, and Ecuadorian leaders. Spanish translator and project coordinator. Assistant teacher, Globalization & the Chevron Lawsuit.
Cristian Vaca, Environmental Activists and Eco-tourism Organizer
Cloud Forest Institute coordinator in Mindo. Provides in country logistical support. Guest speaker during Cloud Forest portion.
Mia Maltz MS, RITES Project Founder
Permaculturist and Mycoremediation Specialist. Workshop presenter for this course, Solar Living Institute, and many other venues. AMP team member.
Auriah Milanes, Environmental Engineer
Cloud Forest Institute Alumni. Course leader.
Donaldo Moncayo, Amazon Defense Coalition
President (Mayor) of the community Santa Cruz. Local host and experiment lead. AMP team member.
Nicola Peel, Eyes of Gaia
Amazon Mycorenewal Project Founder. Documentary Artist. Guest speaker.
Dr. Robert Rawson, International Wastewater Solutions
Bioremediation and Waste Water Specialist. Course workshop presenter. Part-time faculty for Santa Rosa JC. AMP team member.
Silvia Sornoza, Executive Assistant Cloud Forest Institute
Provides in country logistical support. AMP team member.
Ricardo Viteri, Ecuadorian Mycological Society Kallambas
Commercial mushroom grower in Quito. AMP team member.
Language instruction is provided by the licensed instructors of Amazonas Spanish School. Other guest lecturers and local experts will be featured in the course.
Amazon Defense Coalition, Amazon Mycorenewal Project, Cloud Forest Institute, Ecuadorian Mycological Society Kallambas, The Clean Up Oil Waste Project LLC.
One on one Spanish instruction may be arranged for before the course begins, and is available during the entire course for additional cost. Other travel and volunteer arrangements can be made to extend your trip and visit the Galapagos Islands and other areas of Ecuador. Please inquire with CFI for current availability and costs.
***Contact Luz at the Clean Up Oil Waste Project for questions or inquiries regarding this program: email@example.com, (631) 645-0021.