Conservation Realities in Northern Mexico
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- Language of Instruction
- Foreign Language Requirement
- Class Eligibility
- Graduate, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
- Program Open To
- UA and Non-UA Students
- Credit Type
- UA Direct Credit
- Level of Study
- Graduate, Undergraduate
- Housing Options
- Some housing arranged
- Program Type
- UA Faculty-led
This cross-disciplinary program will create a social and environmental curriculum that addresses on-the-ground conservation, focusing on two distinct geographic and cultural case studies. The first module will be based in the Midriff Islands of the Gulf of California in partnership with Prescott College Kino Bay Center and the indigenous Comcaac community. The second will be based in the tropical dry forest and Campesino communities of the Álamos, Sonora region partnering with the Reserva Monte Mojino.
“Conservation Realities in Northern Mexico” is a trans-disciplinary field program that will immerse students in the frontier of social and environmental research and conservation issues in the multicultural U.S.-Mexico borderlands. The University of Arizona has a distinguished history of offering cross-border field courses, which this program continues. Learning will be based in Tucson at the historic Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill and in the field in Northern Mexico in the remarkable islands of the Gulf of California and mountains and canyons of the Alamos region in southern Sonora. The program will leverage partnerships both across campus and with communities in Mexico to provide transformative learning opportunities for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Specifically, the class follows a social and environmental curriculum that addresses on the ground conservation, focusing on two distinct geographic and cultural case studies. The first module will be based in the Midriff Islands of the Gulf of California in partnership with the indigenous Comcaac and Prescott College Kino Bay Center. The second will be based in the tropical dry forest and campesino communities of Alamos, Sonora region, partnering with Reserva Monte Mojino, a project of Nature and Culture International.
The courses are pending accreditation by the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.
Courses are TBD.
The program will be based both in the unique classroom setting of the historic 1906 Library at the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill and in remote field settings in the Gulf of California and Alamos, Sonora. The program will start with three weeks of classroom sessions, three days a week, preparing students through readings and presentations by multiple experts for the first immersive field experience with the Comcaac and on the islands of the Gulf of California.
In late June students will depart for the Gulf of California for two weeks. The first of July is celebrated as the Comcaac New Year. We will join the Comcaac in the village of Desemboque as they celebrate the coming of the rains and the rebirth they bring with festivals, songs, and ceremonies. Then, with the logistic support of The Kino Bay Center, the course will spend two nights on Isla San Esteban. San Esteban is a 41 km2 oceanic island in the deep water of the Gulf of California with multiple endemic species, and is part of the historic homeland of the Comcaac.
Students will then return to Tucson for another three-week period which will be focused on summarizing the first trip and preparing for the second. Students will shift their focus to the Alamos region through readings and presentations by multiple experts. In late July, the course will depart for Alamos for 16 days.
While in the Alamos region, students will have the opportunity to experience the beautiful colonial town of Alamos at the beginning and end of the trip as well as two of the Reserva Monte Mojino’s field stations: Palo Injerto along the Río Cuchujaqui just upstream from Sabinito Sur, and Santa Barbara. At Palo Injerto the students will be able to explore the river, the nearby slot canyon, El Cajón, and interact with the residents of Sabinito Sur. From there, with mule support, the course will take a full day to walk the several kilometers trail up to Santa Barbara, a striking backcountry experience. The inhabitants of Santa Barbara have traditionally accessed the ranch through this trail system. We will spend two nights at Santa Barbara before returning to Alamos and then Tucson
The course will end with one last week in Tucson to reflect on and summarize the experiences and knowledge gained.
Arranged lodging for stay at Kino Bay and Alamos. Lodging not provided for Tucson stay.