Proposed Establishment of the Duquesne University Tropical Field Station at Lower Dover in Belize, Central America
A project is underway that is assessing the feasibility of establishing a field station in West-Central Belize.
This project fits perfectly with the mission of Duquesne University, in that it provides (1) a safe and secure location where Duquesne University students can gain invaluable real-world/field experience while working within the teacher-scholar model, and (2) a location where faculty, often working with students, can conduct on site research on a variety of topics.
The field station can also serve as a base of operations where local-area and regional studies can be completed, or as a “headquarters” where collaborative projects between Duquesne University, the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice (IPEP), universities and colleges in Belize, government agencies and non-government organizations, can be housed. Linkages can be forged between experience-based learning within the teacher-scholar model, and its applications to community-engaged scholarship, service-learning, and research in a developing country.
Research opportunities will include (1) exploratory research to assist in identifying research problem development, (2) constructive research where hypotheses and theories are tested and solutions/conclusions proposed, and (3) empirical research, where knowledge is gained via direct and indirect observation.
This research will involve aspects of both qualitative (where human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior are examined) and quantitative research (where numeric data is collected and analyzed and conclusions are drawn). It will also have an educational outreach component wherein Duquesne University faculty and students will have the opportunity to work with faculty and students from Belizean universities and colleges, primary and secondary students from the local area schools, local teachers, government officials, and representatives of NGO’s. Additionally, working with the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice (IPEP), which is housed at Duquesne University, ways to enhance professional development opportunities in Belize will be explored.