International Study: Nature Conservation and Sustainability in Cuba
Environmental Science and Policy &
Center for Advanced Governmental Studies
Winter Intensive: January 6-14, 2019
- Ernesto Mujica, Ph.D. (Soroa Orchid Botanical Garden)
- Jerry L. Burgess, Ph.D.
- Jill Caporale, Ph.D.
- Kathy Wagner Hill, Ph.D.
This course is open to all JHU graduate students, and undergraduates that are EPS or GECS majors in their Junior or Senior year. Note: This course counts toward the ESP residency requirement.
The course is open to alumni as well.
The purpose of the course is to explore the environmental ecosystems of Cuba as we are immersed in Cuban culture. Cuba contains some of the most environmentally pristine areas in close proximity to the United States. According to the Nature Conservancy, the coral reefs of Cuba are healthier than most of the others in the Caribbean. Cuba’s political isolation has most likely helped to protect its natural ecosystems. In addition to these environmental aspects, culturally Cuba is also known for its vibrant art and musical social scene. We would like our students not only be able to study healthy reefs and tropical terrestrial ecosystems but to see how art, music, and politics relate to the stewardship of the planet.
This cultural and scientific emersion program will investigate Cuba’s agroecology, tropical marine, and terrestrial ecosystems as well as the countries unique geology. As wildlife and habitat have faded from the tropics, Cuba’s importance as an ecological bastion has risen. The island has the largest tracts of the untouched rain forest, unspoiled reefs and intact wetlands in the Caribbean islands. Cuba also is home to many unique, or endemic, species, including the solenodon, and the bee hummingbird. In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn about the marine ecology through the first-hand investigation of the reefs off the shores of Cuba, and learn about rainforest ecology through observations of Cuban forests. The course will also examine the interplay between geology, ecology, evolution, and adaptation in areas such as coastal xeromorphic vegetation, swamp ecosystems, and Viñales National Park.
By the end of this course, the student will have developed an in-depth understanding of the island’s unique terrestrial and marine habitats, plus the restoration efforts and resource management practices needed to preserve this paradise while appreciating cross-national science policy information transfer between the US and Cuba.
Although the United States Government does not permit free travel to Cuba, faculty, staff, and students of accredited U.S. graduate and undergraduate degree-granting institutions, if it is part of a structured educational program as part of a course offered for credit, may travel to Cuba for educational purposes. We can only use specially licensed travel agencies that are permitted by the federal government to arrange visits. We will be using the Global Exchange.
Though students are responsible for flights, our educational travel agency can arrange the group air travel so that we all arrive together and it will include the Visa and the mandatory Cuban health insurance. Flights to Cuba are typically from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Atlanta.
Registration for the course will open on July 15 and close on September 7. Students will register for this course in SIS. Payment of Tuition and Course Fee is due at the time of registration. If a student decides to drop this course before September 7, 2018, $500 of the fee is non-refundable and also the course fee is non-refundable, regardless of a student’s payment method (financial aid, employer assistance, tuition remission, etc.). Please note: This course does not follow the regular tuition refund schedule and all tuition and fees for the course are non-refundable after the course closes on September 7.
The course needs 15 people to run. Refunds will be made if there are not enough people to register to run the course. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Do not purchase travel or make other investments in your trip until you hear from Dr. Hill or Dr. Burgess that there are enough participants to run the course. This will be determined by October 2nd or possibly earlier.
Student Emergency Contact Information
Students must update their emergency contact information in SIS by following these instructions:
- Log in to sis.jhu.edu
- Hover over the “Personal Information” tab
- Select “Emergency Contact”
- Complete “Emergency Contact” information
Global Exchange Registration
After registering in SIS, students must also register via our educational sponsor to ensure a smooth transition. Global Exchange is an international human rights organization and will be coordinating our field course. Please use this link.
Note: Emergency Contact Information in Cuba will be provided before departure.
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