Every year, thousands of people visit the Galápagos Islands to glimpse the beauty of the archipelago and experience its biological diversity.
Next summer, those visitors will include students enrolled in biology and genetics courses through Pellissippi State Community College. The travel is part of the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies study abroad programs. TnCIS, whose membership includes 19 colleges and universities, is based at Pellissippi State.
TnCIS recently introduced study abroad in Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands for summer 2012, bringing the number of its diverse program offerings to 18. Ecuador lies on the equator—hence, its name—in South America. The republic’s Galápagos Islands also are located on the equator, some 600 miles off the Ecuadorian coast in the Pacific Ocean.
Minoo Askari, an assistant professor of biology at Pellissippi State, will lead students on the Ecuadorian study abroad from May 24 to June 21, 2012.
Students will enroll in one of two courses for academic credit: General Biology I with lab or General Genetics with lab. Those enrolled in biology will be able to observe the flow of energy, chemistry of life, cellular respiration and photosynthesis in the diverse animal and plant species of the area.
Genetics students will use classic Mendelian genetics and the theories and methods associated with population genetics principles to explore and analyze the biodiversity, evolution and extant speciation of the islands. The students will have the additional opportunity of being immersed in local culture and the Spanish language.
For much of their study abroad, students will stay in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, and they will take many excursions to the other islands of Galápagos. Outings also will include visits to the Charles Darwin Research Station, Isabela Island and other locations planned by instructors. It is the biological diversity of the Galápagos that helped inspire Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution in the 1830s.
TnCIS is devoted to making international education and cultural understanding a central goal of higher education in Tennessee. The consortium sponsors an annual conference on international education and continues to expand study abroad and other international educational opportunities for students throughout the state.
Eligible students who complete and submit an application (with a nonrefundable $100 application fee) by Dec. 1 will receive acceptance notification by Dec. 16 and a $100 discount off the program fee. The deadline for all other applications is Feb. 9, 2012.