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The role of economics in analyzing natural resource use and formulating policy is explored. Tools of economic analysis are used to compare and contrast various regulatory and market-oriented approaches to dealing with resource conservation and sustainable development.
The relationship between human activity and the world’s natural resources necessitates choices; to live and produce we must utilize environmental resources, but to protect these same natural resources for future generations we must watch how we live and produce. This course uses the economic perspective to study these complex choices. Special emphasis is devoted to analyzing the optimal role for public policy, with a unique, first-hand opportunity to analyze real world issues facing Cuba.
Business Administration and Natural Sciences
ECO/NAS 340 Natural Resource Economics
NAS 240 Applied Conservation Science
NAS 107, NAS 111 and ECO 202
Estimated Student Enrollment:
Upon satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to:
Jacksonville to Miami (overnight in Miami)
Board flight to Havana and transfer to the hotel. Meet an expert naturalist, a scientific illustrator and wildlife artist who served as curator of Holguin’s Museum of Natural History. Throughout the journey, he will share his expertise on birds, reptiles, amphibians, and Cuban biodiversity. Then explore Aula Ecologica de la Quinta de los Molinos, a 10 acre park in Havana. Have dinner at a paladar, a family-run restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Nacional. (LD) [Learning Outcome # 3]
Interact with a Cuban policymaker who will discuss Cuba’s natural resource economics policy approach to protecting the environment, as well as related opportunities, challenges and needs. Fly from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, known for its biodiversity, soaring mountain ranges, African heritage, and as the birthplace of the Cuban Revolution. Explore the city, including El Castillo de San Pedro del Morro, which once protected the harbor against pirates. Meet with naturalists and birders at the Santiago Tomás Romay Natural History Museum. Following dinner at a paladar with special guest, have the evening at leisure to experience traditional Cuban music at Casa de la Trova. Overnight at Hotel Melia. (BLD) [Learning Outcomes # 1, 2, and 3]
Spend the day exploring the Sierra Maestra mountains, which ensured their place in history when Fidel Castro hid there after attacking the Moncada barracks in 1953. En route, visit a botanical garden and the Isabélica Museum. Travel up a winding road, passing through several ecosystems with thick forests and lush vegetation. Look for birds and see views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. Enjoy lunch in La Gran Piedra (Great Rock), one of Cuba’s most important migratory raptor corridors. Continue to Siboney and visit its ecological reserve. Dine at a paladar this evening. Overnight at Hotel Melia. (BLD) [Learning Outcomes # 2 and 3]
Travel to Baracoa along La Farola, a serpentine road that spirals along steep peeks, deep ravines, eleven bridges, and Alto de Cotilla’s highest point. During the journey the landscape changes to fir clad canyons, a valley full of banana trees, and finally Baracoa’s coast. En route, have lunch in Guantanamo with an Alejandro de Humboldt National Park specialist. Arrive in Baracoa, which is surrounded by a humid tropical rainforest adorned with epiphytes. Much of this mountainous region is protected by the Cuchilla del Toa Biosphere Reserve. Overnight at Hotel Castillo. (BLD) [Learning Outcomes # 2 and 3]
Hike along the road to El Yunque (the Anvil), a tabletop mountain that dominates the landscape southwest of Baracoa. Located within the Cuchilla del Toa Biosphere Reserve, the reserve surrounding Baracoa protects diverse ecosystems that have been isolated for millions of years. See the rainforest, brushwood, orchids, and lichen found here. Also look for Cuban Trogons, White-collared Swifts, Cuban Crows, and Cuban Green Woodpeckers. Following lunch, explore Baracoa including a visit of Fuerte Matachín, a Spanish fort that now houses the Municipal Museum. This evening, join biologists for dinner and learn about their conservation efforts. Overnight at Hotel Castillo. (BLD) [Learning Outcome # 2]
Travel to the Yumurí Valley, passing through semi desert regions that are in the lee of elevated coral terraces. See caves that display stalagmites and stalactites that seem to be suspended in mid air and cross plateaus that are hundreds of feet high. After a picnic lunch in Manglito, look for polymites, a colorful species of snails that are unique to this region. Each polymite’s colors are as individual as every human fingerprint. Have time to snorkel (bring your own gear). Dine at a paladar this evening. Overnight at Hotel Castillo. (BLD) [Learning Outcome # 2]
Travel to the province of Holguin, located on Cuba’s eastern coast. En route, stop at Taco Bay’s Information Center, located within Alejandro de Humboldt National Park. Take a short hike in the park, recognized by UNESCO for its high number of endemic species which have adapted to harsh geologic conditions. Later arrive at the hotel. Situated in the midst of a natural reserve, it is surrounded by verdant forest, crystal blue ocean, healthy coral reefs, and white sand beaches. Snorkeling on own if time permits. Overnight at Sol Rio de Mares. (BLD) [Learning Outcomes # 1 and 2]
Visit the Museum of Natural History and meet with a biodiversity specialist at CISAT (Center for Environmental Research). Continue on to Cayo Coco, an ideal destination for birders and snorkelers. With 22 kilometers of crystalline white sand beaches and an undeveloped wooded interior, Cayo Coco is home to abundant bird species such as Cuban Sparrow, Cuban Gnatcatcher, Oriente Warbler, and Cuban Black Hawk. Arrive at the hotel late this afternoon. Overnight at Hotel Melia Cayo Coco. (BLD) [Learning Outcomes # 1 and 2]
Rise early to go birding at Cayo Romano and Paredon Grande. Meet with conservationists at the Coastal Ecosystem Research Center to learn more about the efforts to preserve the Sabana Camaguey Archipelago’s biodiversity. This afternoon snorkel along the reef just off shore. Overnight at Hotel Melia Cayo Coco. (BLD) [Learning Outcomes # 1, 2, and 3.]
Journey by boat to a prime snorkeling area. A boxed lunch and snorkeling equipment are included. Overnight at Hotel Melia Cayo Coco. (BLD) [Learning Outcome # 2]
Go birding at Cayo Guillermo before heading to the Camaguey Airport for mid afternoon check in for the flight to Miami. (BL) [Learning Outcome # 2]