Program Details

The course offered is called Geography, Technology and Development and will introduce you to open-source mapping (Quantam GIS, Google Earth) and and cellphone-based data collection software, and to the survey, analysis and data display skills you will ne
Location:
Boquete, Panama
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Summer

Program Overview

Program Description:
The Payson Center has designed a topical, three week, Summer study abroad program designed specifically for undergraduates who are interested in learning more about Geographic Information Systems (GIS), smartphones and open-source software technologies supporting development projects throughout the world. The Summer for Development program offers the unique opportunity to complete a three (3) credit summer course while also gaining field experience. Whether you are working in Public Health, Community Development, Environmental Sciences, Law, Urban Planning or Disaster Management, it would be hard to find an initiative that does not call for data collection and analysis, for convenient tools for monitoring and evaluating impact or for some effective way to display your findings. However, work and research conditions in the developing world are such that international development professionals often need to adapt the technology they are using . . . this course proposes to teach you how to develop these skills in an applied, real-life setting. This is a great way to take GIS out of the laboratory and into the field.

The course offered is called Geography, Technology and Development and will introduce you to open-source mapping (Quantam GIS, Google Earth) and and cellphone-based data collection software, and to the survey, analysis and data display skills you will need to produce accurate and powerful information about any issue that interests you. The “in class” portion of the course will last three weeks (May 18 – June 6, 2014) for five days a week, with at least 3 hours of class per day. Many of these class sessions will include field visits (travel time will not count as classroom time.) Each day of class will typically include: -An introductory lecture covering Geographic Information Systems (GIS) theory and explore open-source technologies for project design, data collection and visualization. -Case studies drawn from IDEV literature and the experience of the course instructors and guest lecturers. -In class review and discussion of pre-assigned readings -Work groups presentations and discussion

Setting Description:
Nestled among verdant coffee plantations at the foot of an ancient volcano chain, you will learn how to use technologies supporting study design all the way to final map production. The town of Boquete, Panama, located about six hours from Panama City, is a favorite retirement destination for U.S. citizens and boasts many services and cultural amenities. You will conduct research projects in the surrounding communities. While in Panama City, you will meet with professionals from local and international organizations taking advantage of the city’s role as the United Nations hub for Latin America and the Caribbean. You will also explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods and use its historic “Casco Viejo” as a playground for data collection and mapping exercises. Practically traversing from one end of the Panamanian isthmus to the other, students will enjoy ample opportunity to practice their language skills and increase their sensibility to multicultural urban and rural environments. Fi
Cost:
$4100 Included: Tuition (3 credits) HTH insurance Accommodations Coffee breaks and some meals Local public transportation Class field trips Not Included: Airfare Passport & visa fees Comprehensive medical & emergency insurance Telephone calls (send/receive) Meals not specified Transportation other than specified Personal travel Course books & materials

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