Transformational Learning in the Amazon

Field Notes from the Amazon

Hotbed of innovation, research, and development discovered in the Amazon

April 3, 2013

Have you ever been awe-struck by nature’s engineering prowess and thought to yourself, “how in the world is that possible?” or “wouldn’t it be great if humans could do that?” Did it ever occur to you to think of nature as a big research and development firm with over 3 million consultants and over 3.8…

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New species of STEM discovered in the Amazon!

March 12, 2013

After poking around in the leaf litter and climbing into the canopy of the Amazon, it seems we might have discovered a new species of STEM.  We affectionately call it by its common name, STEMazon.  Although not officially described by STEMologists, we have petitioned to give it a proper scientific name – Stemus amazonicus. STEM,…

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What if you are a 3rd grader who desperately wants to visit a rainforest?

February 27, 2013

If you are anything like tenacious Jay Blaine, you pester your mother for FOUR years until she makes it happen.  Now that is persistence! As a middle schooler, Jay finally made it to the rainforest as a participant in one of our very first Amazon Rainforest Workshops, way back in 1995. Flash forward eighteen years, and…

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Pictures really ARE worth more than 1000 words!

February 20, 2013

For the last twenty years, the educators and students who participated in our Amazon Workshops have snapped amazing photos of rainforest biodiversity. Unfortunately, most of these photos have only been seen by a handful of friends and family – or worse they are in a shoebox under the bed! One has to wonder…what could we…

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What if Darwin had a smartphone?

February 14, 2013

Back in the day, science was often relegated to wealthy, self-funded explorers and “gentlemen scientists” the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, and Isaac Newton.  One could argue that they were the original “citizen scientists” but back then you had to have money and time to explore the world and formulate big thoughts. For the…

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Biodiversity Renders Educators Speechless!

February 6, 2013

What, you might ask, could possibly render a lively group of teachers speechless? It would have to be something pretty spectacular, right? You might be suprised to learn that it was a chance encounter with a frog in the Amazon. No bigger than a quarter, this tiny creature held the group captive, rendering everyone speechless…

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Al Goes to the Amazon and Gets a New Perspective!

January 29, 2013

Meet our newest faculty member, Al Stenstrup! We are thrilled to have Al on board for the 2013 Educator Academy. Al epitomizes what it means to be an experiential learner – embracing every day and every activity with endless energy, enthusiasm, and curiosity! When he is not out exploring the world, Al directs the development…

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How to get an A+ in Amazon 101

January 16, 2013

Bags are packed, equipment checked, guidebooks read and re-read.  We are ready! We already know more than the average Joe about the Amazon.  If we were preparing for a test, we’d expect an A+.  But as the plane slips below the clouds, and we catch our first glimpse of the rainforest…a vast carpet of green with only the…

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Immerse Yourself and Discover Your Place

January 9, 2013

Ahhh…Amazonia.  A magical word that conjures up images of snaking rivers, soaring trees, and strange wildlife.  Surely if there is a place that can inspire wonder and curiosity, it is this.  And yet…many visitors struggle to make sense of it all, to put it into perspective, to find a scale that makes it understandable and…

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Amazon Apprentices: Mentoring Inquiry in the Canopy

November 29, 2012

What do one tropical canopy researcher, a Minnesota teacher, and a bunch of teenagers have in common?  On the surface, not much.  But dig a bit deeper, or rather climb a bit higher, and you will find a shared passion for exploring and understanding the intricacies of the Amazon rainforest canopy! Researcher, Dr. Meg Lowman,…

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