Download the University Honors brochure to learn more.
Research in Natural Laboratories: Brazilian Amazon is 14SS honors seminar with a study tour to Brazil!
BoKs - TBD
The sustainability of endangered tropical ecosystems may depend on the action of individuals who have an appreciation of their structure, function, and use. Students completing this course will be among those with the potential to influence the future, as they will have personally investigated and experienced tropical systems and the issues challenging their sustainability.
In twice-weekly class meetings, students will gain a conceptual understanding of the general ecology and people of neotropical regions through expert lectures, readings, discussions, and media. Throughout the quarter, students will work in groups on the development of projects to be conducted during a 10-day research-oriented trip on the Amazon River (Rio Solimoes) and the Rio Negro. The Amazon trip is mandatory for course participants and is scheduled to depart during finals week.
The topic of research projects may be highly variable, but all groups will form a hypothesis, that will be tested by the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Students may find themselves investigating the water quality in the river and the impact on fish populations, or they may instead be surveying the types of agriculture (or types and sources of food) used by local inhabitants along the river. Regardless of their formal group, everyone will collaborate on the collection of all project data in the field.
Study Tour Itinerary (subject to change)*
Travel dates are expected to be during Spring Break.
Day 1: arrive in Manaus, board the riverboat (Dorinha or Iracema), begin travelling upstream on the Rio Solimoes (Amazon)
Day 2: explore the Janauaca in the lower Solimoes (wildlife and small family villages); visit Igarape Preta (larger village with coop agriculture) and Enchanted Lake (Amazon waterlilies)
Day 3: city of Manacapuru and Piranha Lake
Day 4: explore Piranha Lake, work way upriver to Anama; travel back toward Manaus overnight
Day 5: "wedding of the waters" at Solimoes; city tour of Manaus (fish markets, Opera House, etc.)
Day 6: upstream on Rio Negro; Pagadao and Cuieras areas
Day 7: Rio Cuieras and Caichoiera (hiking, camp-out in forest, canoe day to waterfall)
Day 8: Anavilhanas archipelago and mid-size city of Novo Airao
Day 9: Rio Aturia (canoe day to waterfall on extreme blackwater river)
Day 10: Rio Jauaperi (fazenda, canoe exploring); Rio Branco (white water river)
Day 11: travel downstream
Day 12: arrive in Manaus, travel back to U.S.
*This is a sample itinerary, to provide prospective participants with an idea of what you will see and do. It is subject to change, depending on the length of the trip and needs of the group.
We will be traveling with Amazonia Expeditions, an expedition company based in Manaus, Brazil.
• Course number is TBD
• Meeting day and times are TBD
• Course Attributes: H, I
• BoK: TBD
• Credit hours: 3
• Honors Seminar
Students are expected to meet the instructor's academic and behavioral expectations during the class time leading up to the travel component. Students who do not meet academic and/or behavioral expectations will not be permitted to travel. Students in this situation will not receive a refund.
The final cost for this study tour has yet to be determined, but are highly dependent upon airfare. University Honors will provide each student with a grant to offset costs. This grant acts as a program discount. Students who are not in University Honors will also receive the grant.
Costs include airfare, accommodations on an Amazonian riverboat (double rooms with private bath), bottled water, all meals on the boat, guides and crew tips, and ground transportation in Brazil.
Costs do not include baggage fees, passport, visa, meals at airports, soda (can be purchased on the boat), vaccinations (Yellow Fever required), personal supplies, souvenirs, insurance or ISIC card (international student identity card, $25).
Students are required to purchase an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) from UC International for $25. This is not included in the total expected cost.
Vaccinations and Health Precautions
Contact your physician to discuss what vaccinations and heath precautions (like malaria prevention and taking antibiotics with you) are recommended.
Yellow Fever vaccination is required. All participants must be vaccinated and carry with them proof of yellow fever vaccination.
All participants should carefully read the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage on Brazil and, specifically, the Amazon region.
Application required. The application will become available in late Spring Semester/Summer.
UC undergraduates who are not in the University Honors Program are welcome and encouraged to apply, provided the student has a cumulative university GPA of 3.4 or above. Graduate students are not eligible to enroll.