July 2010

Senior Amanda Rees (Business Administration) spent two weeks studying business in Germany this summer. Amanda was unable to send us her posts from Germany due to a poor Internet connection. Now that she's back, we're posting them all at once.

June 28, 2010
Things are going great here in Mannheim, Germany! It's been so fun getting to know everyone in the Business Summer School Program. We have a variety of people from places all over, such as Portugal, Finland, Australia, Norway, Belgium and even a few local Germans.

Read more

Alumnus Christopher Thomas (IAS '10) is spending a few weeks in Kenya at the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve. He is studying the effectiveness of the ASSETS program, which sends children to school and integrates lessons on conserving the forest and eliminating poaching. Christopher plans to begin graduate school in Oregon in the fall.

Things have wrapped up on this trip. Many things were accomplished, but as expected, there is still plenty to do. An initial set of data was collected and plans for future data has been negotiated and will hopefully commence soon. In the process of data collection, many holes were revealed in A Rocha Kenya's and ASSETS' data files and both organizations look forward to getting that data which will help this monitoring project greatly. Processing the data was very difficult and we ran into stumbling blocks, so when I return, I have much to do and will need the help of my UWT professors in completing the data. All involved were very pleased that Buck will be returning to the area in September and can deliver many of the things I was not able to provide before I left. Internet is so poor on the coast, transferring the data via email is next to impossible.

Read more

Associate Professor Buck Banks (Environmental Science) is in Costa Rica this month to conduct further research into sustainable coffee production.

A new Earthwatch team joined us here in Tarrazú yesterday; we kicked things off with our customary hike through the Fundacion Nubotropica, a protected area in the forested watershed high above Santa Maria. Among the highlights of our first day were repeated sightings of "hummingbird moths" pollinating the shrubs near the meeting/eating hall.

Read the rest of Buck's post in the Notes from the Field blog

Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program.

I first learned of Juan Ruiz de Alarcón while on a guided tour of the Santa Prisca Cathedral in the city of Taxco. As we were viewing a series of portraits painted by Miguel Cabrera, our guide explained how one portrait featured Ruiz de Alarcón, a poet and one of the earliest prominent writers in Mexican history.

Read more

Alumnus Christopher Thomas (IAS '10) is spending a few weeks in Kenya at the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve. He is studying the effectiveness of the ASSETS program, which sends children to school and integrates lessons on conserving the forest and eliminating poaching. Christopher plans to begin graduate school in Oregon in the fall.

I am a little over halfway with my trip here. Things are going well, and I have been collecting lots of data and have made a couple of maps with the help of the local naturalists and my research team. We have shifted our focus to data collection methods, and we have been going into the forest pretty much every day. Today I wait for a motorcycle to be fixed so that we can continue to go in; the rental car cannot take the rough roads anymore. It allows me to work on cleaning up our data and wash my field clothes.

Read more

Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program..

On our trip into Mexico City last weekend our guide mentioned we would be learning about xoloitzcuintli (pronounced soloit-squint-le) at the Dolores Olmedo Museum. Until we got there I had no idea what the heck a xoloitzcuintli was. Turns out, it's a dog - a hairless dog, to be precise.

We first saw them as we passed the converted chapel that serves as the main museum, which features the work of famed artist Diego Rivera. Next to this is the building that served as Dolores Olmedo's home on the hacienda she purchased in the 60's. Dozens of peacocks and peahens with chicks freely roam the grounds, and until we saw the dogs (okay, and the museums), they were the main event.

Read more

Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program..

We've been studying the culture and civilizations of Mexico and Meso-America in our grammar class. Our instructor, Lorena, mentioned that the Aztecs used the bark of the amate tree as an early form of paper. She mentioned our interest in amate to our conversation instructor, Rufi. He asked if we wanted to see an amate tree, and off we went on an impromptu excursion to Barranca de Amanalco, or Amanalco Gully.

Read more

Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program. Look for more posts from students in the Cuernavaca program soon.

Before coming to Mexico, I didn't realize the how many archaeological treasures could be found here. Teotihuacan is an archaeological site near Mexico City where you can find the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. Built as part of a great city later called Teotihuacan, these pyramids were only part of what was the 6th largest city in the world, back in its hey-day around 200-600 A.D, with an estimated population of 125,000. After the demise of the Teotihuacan civilization, the city was discovered by later civilizations who called it the “City where gods are born”, the translation of “Teotihuacan” from Nahuatl, an indigenous language of Mexico which we're learning about in conversation class. We don't know what the builders of the city called it, or what language they actually spoke. We do know later civilizations such as the Aztecs saw the value of the city and its location and used it as their own.

Read more

Meridith Hatch (IAS '10) is spending five weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, as part of a UW Tacoma Spanish language immersion program. Look for more posts from students in the Cuernavaca program soon.

In our conversation class at Kulkucan we made a quick trip down to the mercado, or market. It was crowded, with many things and many people in a small area. I appreciated having our teacher there as a guide to explain what we were seeing as we moved through the different sections.

Read more

Associate Professor Buck Banks (Environmental Science) is in Costa Rica this month to conduct further research into sustainable coffee production.

I’m back in San Marcos, Costa Rica, leading a few Earthwatch teams this month as we conduct more coffee sustainability research. This is a continuation of the work we started in April; the study is focused on better understanding the conservation value of forest fragments in and around coffee farms in the region in terms of an important ecosystem service: pollination.

Read the rest of Buck's post in the Notes from the Field blog