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  • Author or Editor: Jules Bruck x
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A study abroad trip to Brazil was conducted by the University of Delaware's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in Jan. 2008 to study diverse ecosystems in three major regions: Mata Atlantica (Atlantic forest), Pantanal (wetland), and Amazon (rain forest). Students spent time in Cuiaba, Manaus, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Different garden styles were studied throughout Brazil. Student learning occurred through student presentations, blog assignments, site visits, interaction with local contacts, observational exercises, reflection exercises, immediate feedback assessment test quizzes, cultural experiences, and a culminating project. Thirteen students attended the program with three faculty directors. Two courses were offered: Field Sketching of Landscape Subjects (PLSC 167) and Arts and Ecosystems (PLSC 267). Class goals were to understand the differences between ecosystems within Brazil and more familiar ecosystems in the mid-Atlantic United States; to learn how natural ecosystems inspire landscape design; and to become aware of major environmental issues in Brazil. An effective study abroad program not only exposes students to unique experiences, but also helps students use those experiences to change their perspectives and understanding. Because of the variety of human learning styles, offering a range of educational activities is important so that all students have an opportunity to respond favorably.

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