SFS 3282: Patagonian Winter

4 CreditsEnvironment

The Patagonian winter is a defining aspect of the ecological and social systems of the region. This course will examine the different ways that winter affects human and non-human systems. This course brings you to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park in the stillness of winter, to observe the camelid guanacos and flightless ñandús as they get ready for the approaching winter. The shortening days drive changes in the ranching practices in the estancias in the area as they move their livestock to winter pastures. The approaching Winter Solstice also connects indigenous communities as they make ready for the coming New Year. Finally, the winter brings the season when glaciers would normally be recovering their mass. However, climate change is creating changes in all of these interactions. High-latitude regions, such as Patagonia, are often more prone to the effects of climate change, making changes more apparent and significant. Indeed, climate change in Patagonia is quite clear, and one of the seasons that have seen the most marked change is the winter. There has been less precipitation, and higher temperatures, meaning that there is less overall precipitation, and that which falls tends more to be rain. This is leading to changes in ecological and social contexts of the Patagonian winter that we will explore in this course. This course covers past adaptations to historic winter climates, from plant and animal community distributions and the human settlement patterns driven by climate conditions for the maintenance of communities. We examine how the Patagonian winter drives the ecology and social contexts of the region.

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A- Average (3.738)Most Common: A- (79%)

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14 students

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