Failte, E Komo Mai, and Welcome to GEOG 292vw: Cultural Ecology of Ireland, Writing Intensive. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to travel for our intended May 2020 dates, but have scheduled our next faculty-led study abroad for 19-29 May 2021.
Cultural Ecology of Ireland is a Hawaii Community College Study Abroad experience for students, faculty and staff of the University of Hawaii system. The program is the result of a collaboration between Hawaii CC faculty and counselors and expanding to faculty from other UHCC campuses. The course is designed to introduce students to the unique culture and ecology of Ireland, and to help them understand the ties that unite island people in diverse and varied ecosystems. We will also explore ways in which the environment affects culture and culture changes the environment.
Past faculty leads have included Pamela Scheffler, Carrie Mospens and Ryan McCormick. In 2020, Porscha dela Fuente and Susan St. John will be joining Pamela as faculty leads. Niamh Hamill and John O'Connoll of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland are our in-country partners and source of expertise.
Dr. Pamela Scheffler (Mela) teaches in the Hawaii CC Tropical Ecosystem and Agroforestry Management (TEAM) program as well as in the natural sciences department. She developed her love for nature growing up in rural Volcano, Hawaii. She first visited Ireland in 1990 with a good friend and a bicycle. Since that time she has lived and studied in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil and India. Her doctoral work involved studying the effect of timber harvest on biodiversity in an indigenous territory in Brazil; more recent research includes studying traditional South Indian agricultural use of forests and incorporation of forest species into the agricultural landscape. She brings to this course a passion for the natural world and how it shapes, and is shaped by, human culture. She has been leading UHCC students to Ireland as a part of the Cultural Ecology of Ireland class since 2016.
Porscha dela Fuente was born and raised in Kapahulu, Oʻahu and was the first in her family to attend college. She teaches English at Kapiʻolani Community College with a focus on Composition, Cultural Studies, and Oceanic Literature. She enjoys traveling, watching films, and cooking. 2020 will be Porscha's third time in Ireland with the Cultural Ecology of Ireland class. Teaching students in Ireland allows her to see engagement and learning happen daily with excursions, lecturers and activities. She loves working with students in Ireland because the landscape is our classroom and the culture is our teacher.
Susan St John teaches English at Windward Community College with a focus on composition and creative writing. She’s excited about sharing the Irish study abroad experience with students and other faculty in 2020! What could be better than travel, writing, eating, trying new things, and making new friends? Susan’s poetry and fiction has appeared in anthologies published by Calyx Books, Mutual Publishing, and Bamboo Ridge Press, and her short plays have been produced by Honolulu Theater for Youth. Susan resides in her hometown of Kailua, O‘ahu where she and her husband raised three—now grown--children.
Dr. Niamh Hamill founded the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland in 1996. Niamh is a lecturer in Irish history and culture and has lectured and presented both as an academic and a fervent promoter of study abroad programs worldwide. She gained her Ph.D. in History and Culture from Drew University.
John O’Connell is co-director of the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland. A Donegal native, John ensures excellent hospitality and a warm welcome for all our visitors. John oversees all your requirements in accommodation, transport, meal plans and the other logistics of your study abroad program.