Initial Publication Date: March 18, 2011


ACM/Brazil Faculty Meeting at Colorado College Saturday March 3, 2012
Project Lead: Mike Taber, Colorado College (Lead Campus), Education

Confirmed Attendees

Peter Blasenheim, Colorado College, History

Brian Bockelman, Ripon College, History

Ken Cramer, Monmouth College, Environmental Science

Nick Gomersall, Luther College, Economics & Environmental Studies

Arjun Guneratne, Macalester College, Anthropology

Andy McCollum, Cornell College, Biology

Claire Moisan, Grinnell College, French

Marty St. Clair, Coe College, Chemistry & Environmental Science

Brock Spencer, Beloit College, Chemistry

George Vrtis, Carleton College, History & Environmental Studies

Carol Dickerman, ACM

Heather Herriges, ACM

Chris Welna, ACM

CC and UFJF Students at Paninos in COS
Lunch with CC and UFJF students in Colorado Springs.

Collaborative International Event:Approaches to Research and Learning about the Environment
Project Leaders:
Mike Taber, Colorado College (Lead Campus)
Nick Gomersall, Luther College
Fabio Roland, Federal University of Juiz de Fora

Goals and Scope

The primary objective of this collaborative event is to conduct a three-day workshop on Approaches to Research and Learning about the Environment in Juiz de Fora, Brasil. Participants would be Environmental Studies faculty from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF), and the University of Brasilia (UnB). We envision fourteen colleagues from ACM schools and fourteen colleagues from UFJF and/or UnB participating.

This collaborative event builds on an existing Funds for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education (FIPSE) project, "Comparative Environmental Issues – Diverse Study Solutions." The FIPSE project is a consortium consisting of schools from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (lead by Colorado College and partner Carleton College), the University Federal of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) and the University of Brasilia (UnB). The primary goal of the FIPSE project is to broaden students' environmental field experience and comparative understanding of tropical (Brazil) and temperate (U.S.) natural, political, and cultural settings. The FIPSE project provides mobility funds for five students, named "ACM-FIPSE Environmental Fellows," to attend either UFJF or UnB. (Conversely, UFJF and UnB have funds to support up to eight Brazilian students to attend ACM schools.) Currently, eight students from UFJF are attending Colorado College (2), Ripon College (2), Beloit College (2), and Carleton College (2). In addition, nine students from ACM schools are attending UFJF this academic year (five are Environmental Fellows).

The main goals of the Approaches to Research and Learning about the Environmentworkshop are

  • To enable a broader, collective understanding about the environment by engaging participants to share their expertise on environmental themes;
  • To provide a context for a focused workshop on how environmental issues are defined, analyzed, and addressed in Brazil;
  • To establish faculty-to-faculty international collaboration for the design of innovative, inquiry-based environmental field experiences, learning modules, and course materials for undergraduates (in both English and Portuguese); and
  • To develop an action plan that advances research on environmental studies and student learning.

These goals are in alignment with the broader FIPSE project goals.

We believe that establishing an international collaboration of liberal arts faculty will enhance experiences of ACM and Brasilian students. Faculty from both ACM and Brasil would be in a better position to engage students in understanding how environmental outcomes vary across different natural, political and cultural settings. Moreover, participation in the workshop will help engage additional ACM schools in participating in the ACM-Brazil student exchange program.

The workshop will provide faculty with first-hand experience with environmental field sites near UFJF – the very sites used by ACM students while conducting their own studies. The current eight exchange students from Brasil and the four ACM students attending UFJF in the Spring will be invited to participate in the workshop. Thus, providing a unique opportunity to engage faculty and students in dialog regarding frameworks for comprehensive environmental studies.