Strong in the Americas Sustainability Course in the Rainforest
Sunday, May 11, 2014 08:17 PM

flagsIracambi Rainforest Research Center and partners are delighted to announce the launch of our exciting new program of scientific exchange for college students for the year 2014. The program is funded by the US Department of State and the Partners of the Americas. Together with the Federal Technical Institutes of Southeastern Minas Gerais and the Sustainable Communities Institute of Muncie, Indiana, we shall be offering a year-long program of student exchanges with the goal of expanding opportunities for US and Brazilian students to live, study and do practical internships together in the fields of agro-ecology and sustainable environmental management.

We believe that by putting international teams of students together they will learn to navigate one another’s realities, and acquire valuable experience, not only in hands-on scientific projects designed to help them find creative solutions to problems of sustainability, but also in the field of intercultural communications. Focusing on these two objectives will open their imaginations to new and exciting ways of problem solving and help to unleash their creative potential as citizens of tomorrow’s world.

Four-week courses will start on May 12, July 21, August 25 and September 29. They will cost $600 (tuition, board and lodging).

Week One: US students arrive at the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center and spend their first week acclimatizing, learning about the programs offered at Iracambi, and acquiring the first basics of Portuguese. Instruction at Iracambi will be given in English, and instruction at IFET in Portuguese, but students will have access through the buddy system to friends who can help translate. During this week students will be put in touch through social media with their opposite numbers at IFET. Course content offered at Iracambi will include data collection on weather, water quantity and quality, forest monitoring in our permanent sampling plots which include areas of agroforestry and shade coffee, working in the Iracambi Forest Nursery and harvesting and processing fruit of the jussara palm, (first cousin to the better known açai berry.)

Week Two: Students from IFET will arrive on the Iracambi campus and start living, studying and carrying out practical internships alongside their US counterparts. Workload during each week will be eight hours daily, to include classroom instruction and the maximum possible time spent outside the classroom.

Week Three: Students will move to the IFET campus to continue working with their colleagues. During this week there will be a day-long workshop delivered by the Sustainable Communities Institute (in English with translation into Portuguese). During the course of this workshop students will be challenged to consider their concepts of sustainability and decide how they can put their skills to work.

Week Four: Students will return to their respective campuses to collate their findings, evaluate what they have learned, and produce a short report on their findings. Contacts:, email: [email protected] Tel: 55