This class is offered in conjunction with study abroad in Ecuador and focuses on the importance of the Amazon ecosystem. Students will gain an understanding of tropical ecology, conservation biology, and economic development as they apply to the Amazon environment and communities. A particular topic of interest will be the decision to drill for oil in the Amazon and the impacts on biological, sociological, and economic systems. The course will highlight the integration of conservation and economics, while exploring the tradeoffs associated with the decision. Students will experience life in a developing country, visit indigenous communities, explore biodiversity, conduct field research, and appreciate the beauty of the country, its culture, and its people.