Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.05
Liaison Beverley Ayeni
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Toronto Mississauga
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Anita Srinivasan
Director, Academic Planning, Policy & Research
Office of the Dean
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

The program is ENV395, which is 4 weeks in Ecuador: Amazon, Galapagos, and Andes.
This is the 15th year of the University of Toronto’s summer program in Ecuador.
The program is hosted by the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and uses two of its research centres, the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) and the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS; located in the Amazon Rainforest), as well as its Quito campus.
This course examines fundamental concepts in ecology, evolution, biodiversity, geology and conservation biology through lectures and fieldwork in highland, tropical and island ecosystems in Ecuador. The complex relations between these environments and the people who depend on them are also be examined through analysis of the social, cultural and economic transformations that have taken place in recent years.

Students begin in Quito with orientations and introductory lectures, including visits to old Quito and Mitad del Mundo (the Equator).
• They then spend several days in the Andes highlands studying its unique flora and fauna and examining the economy and culture of the indigenous mountain peoples.
• The next course segment consists of eight days at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station, situated along one of the headwaters of the Amazon River in one of the few remaining pristine rainforests in Ecuador. Here, students focus on tropical forest ecology and the impacts of oil exploration on wildlife and indigenous peoples.
• For the second half of the course students are in the Galápagos, a chain of active volcanic islands that has played a crucial role in the history of science, examining how plants, animals and people interact in this fragile and threatened environment. This includes lectures and field trips based at GAIAS on San Cristobal, as well as tour of other islands. The program concludes in Quito.
This course is taught exclusively by UTM faculty members.


Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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