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New Spring Field Trip to Chile Blends Study of Culture and Geology

Oct 26, 2009

Chile Chile

Students from Spanish and Geology classes will be trekking to Chilean Patagonia this spring, where Professors Laura Rademacher (Earth & Environmental Sciences) and Traci Roberts-Camps (Modern Languages & Literature) plan to meld studies of culture and the natural environment.

The idea for the trip was formed after Dr. Roberts-Camps traveled to Chile to conduct research on Chilean women film directors, with funds she received from winning a Graves Award in 2007. She and Dr. Rademacher, who has previously taken students on spring break geological field trips to Hawaii, sought a way to highlight the connection between culture and geology. Chile offers richness in both areas.

A new Earth & Environmental Sciences course, GEOS 65: Geology of Chile, was created, which investigates Chile's varied environments, including deserts, volcanoes, glaciers and coasts. The 8-day field trip (March 5-14, 2010) is required for students enrolling in the course. The field trip is optional for students in SPAN 135, Dr. Roberts-Camps' Latin American literature class, and is open to students in other Spanish classes as well. A few spots will also be available for other interested students. The two classes will visit each other prior to the trip to expose students to each course's respective subject matter.

Students on the field trip will explore the diverse environments of Chile by hiking in Torres del Paine National Park, visiting a penguin colony, and seeing various glaciers in the region. They will experience cultural aspects of Chile first-hand by meeting local artists, musicians, and authors—including attending a poetry reading—in Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world. Students in the Latin American Literature course are examining how the natural world is represented through literature of the region. In Chile, they will be able to see the direct connection.

Chile Trip Details

Price: $2750 (includes airfare, ground transportation, lodging, park entrance fees, some meals, etc.).

GEOS 65: field trip required, paid through lab fees
SPAN 135: field trip optional, paid through IPS, located in Bechtel International Center, with $1000 deposit due by Dec. 1, 2009

For more information, please contact:

Professor Traci Roberts-Camps (Modern Languages and Literature)
Professor Laura Rademacher (Earth and Environmental Sciences)

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