Good day, I am Jedidiah Nixon, a senior at Luther College majoring in both biology and classical languages. Hola! I'm Matt Lagus, a sophomore majoring in biology and Spanish. We shall be your bloggers for the duration of this trip, and look forward to recounting our adventures and observations.
On our expedition through Ecuador, we'll learn about the evolution, ecology, and natural history of the life dwelling in the Amazon Rainforest, the Andean Cloud Forest, and the Galapagos islands. We’ll also examine human interactions with nature: road development and habitat fragmentation, economics and conservation.
I'm obsessed with insects. I've been working in entomology labs on and off ever since my freshman year of high school, and dream of becoming an entomology professor one day. Because of Ecuador's amazingly diverse insect communities, this trip is the realization of a dream. I'm most excited about our time in the Galapagos, seeing the same creatures that Darwin observed and journaled about in "The Voyage of the Beagle", though I'm also looking forward to experiencing and interacting with a culture that is new to me.
Biology has always fascinated me. There is something about seeing the intricacies of life that gives me such greater appreciation for my own life. It also makes me realize how precious Creation is and how desperately we need to change our ways if we want to preserve the natural world for future generations. Also considering my love of Spanish, I think I’m pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to go on this trip. I am really looking forward to connecting with Ecuadorian people and learning about the conservation of some of the most biodiverse places on Earth, as well as the ethical, cultural, and economic implications that accompany this.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned January 4th for our arrival to Quito! (should be around 11:30 PM CT)