Transformational Learning in the Amazon

Field Notes from the Amazon

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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The Epic Orchid Bee Quest of 2012

November 14, 2012

What do you do with a bug net, a vial of wintergreen essential oil, cotton swabs, and push pins, when you are in the middle of the Amazon rainforest?  If you are a curious explorer you design an experiment to investigate orchid bees of course!   Last summer that is exactly what happened when students and…

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Inquiry in the Amazon – Why ask why?

November 7, 2012

“The greatest question you can ask is WHY.”  This quote, pasted to the wall of the Amazon Conservatory for Tropical Studies field station, drives so much of what we do in the Amazon. It keeps us honest as educators, researchers, facilitators, and learners. It is simple and profound. Three simple letters – w.h.y. – packed…

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Rumpus in the Rainforest!

October 24, 2012

Experiencing the Amazon rainforest first hand is an incredible opportunity – and for some a lifelong dream.  Jon Strube, an elementary principal from Indiana, set his sights on the Amazon seven years ago and worked tenaciously to find a way to get there.  Last summer, Jon’s dream finally came true.  With the help of a…

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Facilitating Wonder: An Interview with Dr. Mo

October 18, 2012

Meet Dr. Molina (Mo) Walters Clinical Associate Professor, Arizona State University, Mary Lou Fulton Teacher College Dr. Mo is a dynamo and over the last two summers we’ve had the pleasure of spending time in the Amazon with her.  Her passion for education is contagious! As an elementary and secondary science methods professor her energy and enthusiasm for…

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Chance Encounters with Pygmy Marmosets

October 11, 2012

Suddenly the treetops above us erupted in noise and chaos.  We scrambled to grab our binoculars and craned our necks to find the source of mayhem high above our heads.   Hearts beating fast, senses heightened, we quickly spotted a troop of tiny primates climbing and jumping through the canopy of the Amazon rainforest.  In a…

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What happens in the Amazon should NEVER stay in the Amazon!

October 3, 2012

What happens in the Amazon should never stay in the Amazon…and if the educators we worked with last summer are any indication, the Amazon is already spilling over its banks and into their classrooms, communities, and personal lives. Our ten day immersion into tropical ecology, research, and culture gave all of us the chance to…

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