New Students at CATHALACs study abroad program at the City of Knowledge
The students will acquire basic knowledge and skills on the science of climate change, analyze historical trends in climatic variability and human vulnerability, and examine the current national and international policy debates on climate change adaptation and mitigation. The course is designed from the perspective of Latin American reality, exploring questions of technology transfer, distribution of risks and benefits, and social marginality between More Developed Countries, Less Developed Countries, and new Emerging Economies.
This year, two participants from the University of British Columbia, and one from the University of Texas have joined the program as «visiting students». The participants are undergraduate students from various majors: Geography, Chemical Engineering, International Relations, Earth System Sciences and Earth and Environmental Science.
According to David Cook, from the International Programs and Services Office of UAHuntsville, «The program is off to a dynamic start. The participants have been given an excellent introduction to the cultural and environmental diversity of Panama in the program’s first week. Starting with a two-day orientation in beautiful El Valle, the participants hiked in the fertile volcanic valley filled with bright flowers, square trees and golden frogs. They returned to Panama City to explore CATHALAC’s home in the City of Knowledge, and also the historical Casco Viejo section of Panama City. Each research group has made their initial site visits for their internship and are already formulating their research plans».
Students were introduced to CATHALAC and their internship supervisors who will be mentoring them as they develop their research. This year’s research topics include Climate Change and Water Availability in Tropical Islands, Extreme Weather Events and Vulnerable Communities in Eastern Panama and Climate Change Impacts on Agricultural Production in Central Panama.
They are also receiving intensive Spanish classes and have moved to their host families in Panama City. ¨The homestay experience is an integral part of the program, as it facilitates cultural immersion; helps develop further language skills, as well as active participation in both Panama’s culture and society. Even though challenging, it is truly a unique learning experience¨ said Zvia Leibler Danon, Study Abroad Program Coordinator at CATHALAC.