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This program is organized by DukeEngage faculty/staff in collaboration with DukeEngage. This is a new program for the summer of 2017.
May 21 - July 14
Participating in efforts to collect community input regarding this temperate forest region’s transition from logging to ecotourism; supporting conservation activities including limnology of glacial lakes, re-forestation of native trees, and location of endangered species.
During their stay in Chile, students will work with the Huilo Huilo Foundation, the local organization based in Santiago and the town of Neltume that focuses on conservation of native plants and animal species endemic to the Huilo Huilo area. Students will participate in two main projects.
First, a set of activities aimed at providing the local community with information regarding its economic and social transition from a traditional logging economy to one based on ecotourism. These activities will involve direct contact with community members through Community Fora where students will interact with local residents (some of whom are of indigenous Mapuche origin), together with administration of a short household survey measuring the families’ labor force transition. The students also will actively participate in study dissemination meetings with the communities and local schools, where findings will be presented and discussed.
A second set of activities is designed to add to the community partner’s knowledge base of the resources existing in the reserve. Students will assist in assessing water quality in five of the reserve’s glacial lakes Students will also measure and assess the presence of native trees in areas identified by the Reserve for future planting. Time permitting, students will participate in measuring the presence of an endangered species (Pudu Puda) and help to create a database of sightings of this elusive mammal.
While at Huilo Huilo, Duke students will engage in activities such as:
Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes
Students will be exposed to field work in the social and natural sciences. During half of the project students will acquire practical knowledge on sampling design, administration of a survey in the field, data analysis and reporting. They also will learn to interact in meaningful dialogue with the local population including the indigenous communities, on topics of high importance for the region at large. During the second half of the project, students will develop skills in limnology and flora and fauna identification. At the end of the period, students will dedicate time for preparation of materials for dissemination to the community and two middle schools.
Students will actively participate in ongoing activities of the Huilo Huilo Foundation. At least four main themes will be addressed (and potential activities include:
Students must be motivated and willing to work extensively with laptops/tables, cellphones, cameras, limnology testing kits, and their hands and legs (extensive walking is involved). Students must also be motivated to work in close collaboration with others, including personnel of the Huilo Huilo Foundation in Neltume, community members from the towns of Neltume and Puerto Fuy, and local indigenous organizations. Students must be willing to learning new skills and gaining new experiences, while demonstrating patience and flexibility. Some background in biology and/or fieldwork is preferred but not necessary.
Language Requirements: Intermediate-level Spanish is required.
Course Requirements: Coursework in conservation, research methods and biology is preferred but not required.
Other Skills: Working knowledge of photography of natural settings may be helpful. Also, knowledge of fishing from lake shores will be useful.
Description of Community: The Huilo Huilo Foundation Complex is located in Neltume, a small town in the Panguipulli Province located between two lakes, Panguipulli to the West and Pirihueico to the East. Neltume has a population of around 4,000 people. Five miles to the Southeast, is Puerto Fuy (population 1,000), a port community in Lake Pirihueico. This lake serves as a link to an international pass to Argentina, about 5 miles east of the southern shore. Neltume and Puerto Fuy are small, relatively remote communities with limited infrastructure. The closest airport is in the city of Valdivia, about 100 miles away. In addition to these two small towns, there is a territory to the East of Lake Neltume inhabited by indigenous communities belonging to the Mapuche People. These are indigenous communities, inhabiting the region for over 3,000 years. The project will work with two independent communities located about 3 miles west of Neltume.
Housing and Meals: Students will stay in lodge-style housing that is part of the Huilo Foundation Complex. Housing will consist of multi-person rooms with beds, nightstands, and closets. Each lodge has a kitchen and a living room. One of the lodges includes a computer lab of 6 stations and a printer. One of the lodges will support meal preparation and service for the group. Electricity (220V, outlets have two-pin plugs that are common in central Europe) and wireless Internet are provided. Laundry machines are available on site, although students must provide their own detergent. Bathrooms are located in each lodge and have hot water tanks. All heating in the lodges is provided by wood stoves. The meals and housekeeping services are provided by local staff. Temperatures will vary from 40 to 60 Fahrenheit. Rain occurs frequently.
If you do not eat certain types of food for cultural, religious or personal reasons, please contact the DukeEngage office, , to discuss whether or not your dietary needs can be reasonably accommodated at this program site.
Transportation: Ground transportation will be available between the Araucania Airport (120 miles northwest) and the Huilo Huilo Foundation Complex in Neltume. Local transportation from the Complex to all areas included in the project will be provided locally
Communication: Internet access is available at the Huilo Huilo Foundation Complex. Students should plan on bringing their own laptop/tablet for use during the program. Cell phones with international plans will be provided for each student for the duration of the program.
Opportunities for Reflection: Weekly discussion sessions will be held in the afternoon or evening. Discussion sessions will focus on a theme or topic that will be selected the week before. Students will be expected to write and post at least one blog (more are encouraged). Sample blogs will be provided, and students must get approval from Program Director or Site Coordinator before each blog is posted.
Other Opportunities: Much of the work will be collaborative and in groups, so autonomy and private space may be limited. There are opportunities for walks outdoors where the complex is located. The town of Neltume has a few stores, hostels and restaurants. In the vicinity, there are two hotels serving tourists of the Huilo Huilo Reserve. These hotels are highly ranked and priced accordingly. Students will have access to these facilities as regular tourists. There will be opportunities for autonomy in the evenings and students will behave as expected by the DukeEngage code of conduct. The Huilo Huilo Foundation requires that no outside visitors are allowed in the residences.
Visits to Areas Outside the Region: A visit to the town of Valdivia is planned after four weeks in Neltume. This is a university town of about 150,000. A visit to the university and a discussion with a local physicist (a glaciologist doing research in Volcano Mocho-Choshuenco, located 5 miles south of Neltume) will be arranged.
This project links academically to courses in conservation, education, research methods, limnology, as well as to courses across disciplines that address poverty and economic development in rural communities.