People, the Environment, and Development: Landscape-Based Studies of Southeast Asian Ecosystems and Cultures
2005 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: Study Abroad
Nomination submitted by: Joseph L. Brockington, Associate Provost for International Programs
Kalamazoo College (KC) offers an innovative model for "landscape-based" education through its International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (ISDSI). The product of collaboration between the Center for International Programs at KC and the Foundation for Experiential Education (a registered foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand), this ISDSI program provides students with hands-on field experience in the communities of the landscapes they study, through courses designed and taught in collaboration with local community members and non-governmental organizations. Thai language training supports cultural integration and collaboration with local counterparts. Those who can develop small, specialized programs should consider this "landscape-based" model to provide students with opportunities for equally deep cultural immersion, and interaction with local community members.