Hands-on AMAZON

Culture, Jungle, Science and Service in the Peruvian Amazon

An experiential course for graduate, undergraduate or continuing education credit

Course Dates: July 15-22, 2015

Upon completion of the course, educators will:

-Have first-hand knowledge of how rainforest resources are used for food, construction, medicine and other sustenance.

-Appreciate how destruction of the rainforest leads to an unsustainable planet.

-Understand basic principles of rainforest ecology.

-Increase the depth of knowledge in their subject matter.

-Have a personal stake in the preservation of the Amazon rainforest and its culture.

-Translate the learning into meaningful lessons and student activities.

This is an on-site experiential learning course combined with reading, research, collaboration and lecture.  Participants interact with the culture and environment on a personal level.  It is not a tour with first-class hotels; lodging is partly in an Amazon field research station.

The greatest watershed in the world needs no introduction.  Yet, the myriad species of plants and animals brought to public attention tell only part of the story.

Participants in this course explore the Upper Amazon in eight days of experiential learning, observing and interacting with the flora, fauna and culture.  Through the experience, educators extend content knowledge in their subject matter and bring the learning home - inspiring a new generation of scholars to appreciate and preserve the rainforest, its ecology and its culture.

Participants can collaborate in a service component relevant to their area of interest; examples include: reforestation, working with a local school, promoting oral hygiene, documenting local customs, history or language, fostering eco-friendly practices, translating  scientific studies, maintaining research trails, and many other possibilities.

The base of operations is Iquitos, Peru, which itself is an anomaly: the most inland city in the world with access to the sea (3600 km from the Atlantic); the largest city (half-million population) unreachable by road, founded by Jesuits in 1750; shaped by the rise and fall a rubber boon.

Knowledge of Spanish is not required although any speaking ability will greatly enhance the experience and should be commensurate with the intention to interact with the local community.

The course can be taken for 500-level graduate credit, 400-level undergraduate credit, or continuing education units and may be applicable for re-certification or salary advancement in your state or local district.  The course is sponsored by The Heritage Institute with credit issued through Antioch University, a fully accredited institute of higher learning.  Credits are issued on a clock-hour or quarter-credit basis (six quarter credits are equivalent to 4 semester-hour credits).

How to procede

1) Read the syllabus and travel information to see if this course is right for you.

2) Contact the instructors and fill out the questionnaire.  Specific details and , guidance regarding airfares and extended travel in South America is available.

3) Send a $200 travel expense deposit.  Total cost of land and river travel / meal / accommodation is $840.  For university level credit (4 semester hours) add $560 tuition.  Guidance on economical airfares to Iquitos and onward is available.

4) Dust off your Spanish and get psyched for the adventure!


Download brochure (MS Word)

Download questionnaire

Download itinerary

Download syllabus

A fallen tree makes a convenient crossing point over a creek on a hiking trail in primary rainforest.
About the instructors

Devon Graham, Ph. D., is a professor at Florida International University and president of Project Amazonas, Inc., a Peruvian-American non-profit organization that focuses on humanitarian, educational, research and conservation work in the Peruvian Amazon.  Dr. Grahamís background is in tropical ecology with particular expertise in botany, ornithology and fisheries.  He also works with the Peruvian Ministry of Health and American medical schools to provide boat-based medical clinics to remote Amazon communities.

Don Dean, M.S.E.T, is District Coordinator of Science in the Oakland, New Jersey School System and has worked extensively in curriculum and teacher development.   He holds a B.A. in Natural Science and Mathematics, a B.S. in Music, and an M.S. in Educational Technology.  He has travelled widely in South America, studying and working in reforestation and community service projects.

Amazonas 17302