Faculty embark on adventure to Antarctica and Chile
February 15, 2011

Over the winter break, Dr. Lea Dopson and Dr. Marvel Maunder traveled to the southernmost part of the world as a part of the Travel Learn program coordinated by the UNT Center for Achievement and Lifelong Learning (CALL).  Before joining the UNT group, Dopson and Maunder braved the elements on an excursion to remote Antarctica. "This trip was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the 7th continent of the world with its cute little penguin residents," says Maunder.


After the pre-tour excursion, the Travel Learn adventure took them on a cruise along the Straights of Magellan in Patagonia, Chile retracing the steps of Darwin and Fitzroy through the Beagle Channel where the native people, the Yaghans, once lived.  The cruise took them around stormy Cape Horn, where many ships and their crews have perished, with stops along the way for hiking on glacier moraines and penguin watching.  Their final destination was the southernmost town in the world, Puerto Williams, Chile.


Dopson and Maunder joined UNT Provost, Dr. Warren Burggren, and Vice President of Research, Dr. Vice Prasad, along with other faculty, alumni, and researchers from around the world for the dedication of the new Cape Horn Field Station in Puerto Williams. The UNT representatives strengthened their partnership with the Universidad de Magallanes, the Chilean Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, and several U.S. and Chilean non-profit organizations, in opening the world's first environmental philosophy, science and policy field station.


The new Cape Horn Field Station supports an international network for interdisciplinary environmental research. This linkage may provide an opportunity for potential partnerships with UNT's Master of Science in International Sustainable Tourism (MIST) program. Dopson believes these kinds of partnerships "would allow students and faculty to gain invaluable experience in a culturally and environmentally rich part of the world where sustainable tourism research could flourish."

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