On Saturday and Sunday June 24th and 25th, 2017 Galen’s Environmental Problems class took one of Belize’s “less travelled road” to further their analyses of environmental problems in the northern vicinities of Belize including: Little Belize Village, Sarteneja Village, and Shipstern Reserve as part of the course Environmental Problems (ESCI 210) at Galen University. The team consisted of twelve students and was led by adjunct professor Dr. Kenrick Williams with logistical assistance from Mr. Bryton Codd.
The ultimate aim of the project is to assess a given environmental problem, and to develop a research question with an appropriate methodology to guide the inquiries of the problem. A final report is to be developed, alongside an informative three minutes video to critically and precisely elucidate the varying research methodologies and findings.
The areas of focus are inclusive of: solid waste pollution, deforestation, agricultural development, climate change, and coastal development.
The first area in the quest to seek knowledge and information was in Little Belize – a small traditional Mennonite Community. This was an opportunity for students to analyze the practices, epistemologies and ways of being of the Mennonite community. A tour was led by Mr. Bernard Peters, a resident and owner of a hardware store in Little Belize. He led the group to one of the Aluminum recycling facilities where students got to see some of the preparatory procedures for production of a lot our daily aluminum household equipment such as cast iron pots, waffle irons, and comals.
Later in the afternoon, the group was greeted by the warmth of the Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI) tourism program manager Mr. Gilles Gay des Combes, who engaged the students in some critical environmental discourses. Students were informed of the many challenges, opportunities, and factors that could transmogrify policy and practice of sustainable development in Belize.
On the 26th of June, 2017 the students met with the Executive Director of the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development Mr. Joel Verde and his team. The students and were given a tour along the Coast of Sarteneja to observe some traditional resource extraction in protected areas, the impacts of deforestation on the environment, and some solutions being explored to address the challenges. During the field experience, a bit of manatee monitoring was carried out to expose students to the process patrol teams undergo in manatee research and monitoring.
This research excursion was definitely an eye-opener for many students, and it can be undoubtedly stated that this will enhance their efforts to complete a solid final project!
Galen Eagles are undeniably making the stride to be better informed civilians, and thus able to make informed and well educated inputs in that regard! We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to our partners in being able to provide practical and relevant experiences to our students and extend our sincere gratitude to the Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative, the Forest Department, the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development, and the residents of Little Belize and Sarteneja villages.