Explore concepts of biodiversity and how to assess the health of biological systems. Learn about threats to biodiversity, both human and natural, and critique the tools we use for conservation and restoration around the globe. Using Vermont as a case study and living laboratory, we’ll look at how local environmental issues connect to global trends.
On our ten-day trip to Belize, we’ll stay at two locations run by International Zoological Expeditions. We’ll visit South Water Caye, a small island on the Belize Barrier Reef, part of the second largest barrier reef in the world. Our island enclave is home base for snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding among the corals and mangroves, and excursions to nearby reef sites, frigate bird rookery, and a Smithsonian marine research facility.
We then travel to Blue Creek, in the heart of primary rainforest. Here we’ll enjoy swimming in the aqua waters of Blue Creek, exploring the amazing plant and bird life, hiking or tubing in nearby caves, and hunting for local iguanas (catch and release)! We’ll meet locals at Blue Creek Village, an adjacent traditional Mayan community, to learn about their customs and how they maintain an intimate connection with their natural environment while adopting some modern conveniences. Our trip includes a visit to an ancient Mayan ruins site and lunch and drumming lessons at a drum school of the Garifuna ethnic group.
Class meetings will be held on five Saturdays from 10am to 3pm at CCV-Montpelier during the fall 2019 semester.
Course Page: ENV-1230-VM02 – Current Environmental Issues
Travel Dates: January 4 – 13, 2020
Study abroad scholarships are available to help reduce the fee associated with the course. Please apply here.
- IZE Belize, the organization that runs two locations we’ll visit:
- Belize Barrier Reef, the largest reef system in the Northern Hemisphere
Three Reasons To Join Us In Belize!
First, it’s going to be warm & sunny:
Second, delicious food!
Third, paddle boarding and kayaking!
Meet Your Instructor
Fred Kosnitsky has taught courses in biology, ecology, and environmental issues at CCV since 1983. He has been enthralled with nature since he was a young child, and has been interested in the interaction between humans and the natural world since his undergraduate days at Williams College. As a graduate student in the 1980s, he studied ecology at Dartmouth College and environmental law at Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center. Since then he has been active in numerous environmental groups as an activist, board member, and volunteer. He also incorporates learning about the natural world into travels with his family, including trips to Belize, Costa Rica, Nepal, Ecuador, and the American West. This summer he will safari in South Africa and Botswana.