Tropical Conservation Semester Begins!

Shrubs changing colors in the high AndesWhile ice and snow grip the north, here on the equator everything is sunny, green, and warm.  Students in the Tropical Conservation Semester arrived in Ecuador a few days ago, and are settled in with host families, getting accustomed to local food (popcorn on soup? terrific!), and already testing their high-altitude lungs.  Classes began today, and our first excursion into the wilds will be this weekend, when we visit the high elevation tropical tundra called páramo.  Fortunately, students have already been warming up, with a weekend hike up lofty Mt. Pichincha that towers over Quito.  They’ve also discovered that the equatorial sun, plus a very thin atmosphere, can get you rather sunburned!  But everyone is brimming with excitement, as we start searching for as much wildlife — condors, here we come! — and native plants as we can find.  Visit us on facebook, or follow us on instagram, where student’s will volunteer to be course ambassadors and post their photos and summaries of each week’s activities.