Summer trip to Ecuador

Lindsay Smith, Guest Writer

This summer the Francis Marion University (FMU) Department of Political Science and Geography will sponsor a two-week expedition to Ecuador.

According to Professor of Geography Dr. Scott Brown, trip sponsor and coordinator, Ecuador is a small, yet extremely diverse country.

“Although being one of the smaller countries in South America, its geography is diverse both culturally and physically, as it straddles the Andes and includes three distinctive geographical regions,” Brown said.

During the trip, five students will visit the Spanish colonial cities of Quito and Cuenca as well as the monument marking the geographic location of the equator. At the university’s Wildsumaco Biological Station, the students explore the concepts of tropical cloud forest ecology and conservation.

They will also experience the Yasuni Ecolodge of the Amazonian Lowlands and visit the Kichwa Indians while focusing on the conditions of the tropical rainforest.  To discuss tropical dry forests, coastal ecology and conservation, the students will explore the Pacific Coast city of Puerto López and the historic port city of Guayaquil.

Brown said he hopes the expedition helps students develop an appreciation for foreign countries as well as an understanding and respect for Latin American and Amazonian Native American cultures.

He added that he wants to teach students more about tropical ecology, conservation and the geography of cultural and physical landscapes.