Biology professor Tom Fogle planned and led a two-week trip to Ecuador in summer 2006, which is offered as a three-credit course every other year. While open to Saint Mary's students in all majors, the Ecuador/Galapagos Summer Study Program tends to attract those who love nature and the outdoors.
One of smallest countries in South America, Ecuador is home to incredible biodiversity. Biology major Julie Malone had never seen a mountain, been on an island, or left the United States before the trip. Making up for lost time, she held a giant rhinoceros beetle in her hand, ate ants that tasted like lemon drops, and went on a midnight hike to look for tarantulas in the rain forest.
“We also saw a plate-billed mountain toucan, which is really rare. Dr. Fogle almost jumped out of his socks; he was so excited,” she laughs.
“Dr. Fogle is the best professor. He was always relating everything we did on the trip back to learning—and not just scientific learning, but life learning,” Malone says. “He values his students not only from an educational but a personal standpoint.”