Summer Exploration Seminar – Micronesia

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Conservation & Culture on Kosrae 2010

Exploration Seminar in Micronesia

Program Director: Julian Sachs, Oceanography Dates of Instruction: September 7 – 27, 2010 http://depts.washington.edu/explore/programs/2010/micronesia.htm

Kosrae is the eastern-most island in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the expansive Caroline Island chain of the western tropical North Pacific Ocean.  It is unique among Micronesian Islands in that it is a solitary island surrounded by a coral reef rather than being amongst a group of small islands.  Also unlike much of the FSM and the neighboring Marshall and Gilbert Islands, Kosrae is essentially pristine.  With a population of just over 7,000 people, very little in the way of tourism or industry, and a strong sense of conservation, most of its 42 square miles of lush mountainous terrain remains undisturbed and stunningly beautiful. Coupled with the fact that the steep mountain terrain and dense vegetation that characterize most of the island act as a barrier to development, Kosrae remains what one prominent travel website describes as  a sleepy backwater paradise for active travelers who enjoy tramping through rainforests, paddling through mangroves, or snorkeling coral reefs  (http://www.janeresture.com/fedmic/index.htm). At the same time, the people of Kosrae have a reputation as being gracious, hospitable and kind.

In this Exploration Seminar we will (1) develop an understanding of Kosrae’s coastal, mangrove and forest ecosystems, which are among the healthiest and most magnificent on the planet, (2) learn about the conservation efforts underway to ensure they remain intact, and (3) experience the rich Micronesian culture and the unique hospitality of Kosrae.  Application information is through website at top of this entry.

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