The International Undergraduate Journal For Service-Learning, Leadership, and Social Change


In 2017, Johnson and Redding spent eight weeks in Dangriga, Belize to conduct their undergraduate honors research. Johnson and Redding set out to determine the mammal species in Billy Barquedier National Park,in the Stann Creek district of Belize, but the canopy objective was to supply the park with information to apply for grants, advertise the unique tropical species, and increase a sustainable profit (Billy Barquedier). The eight-week service-learning program was a pilot program for the University of Arkansas (University of Arkansas: Special Projects with Peacework in Belize). It was the first-time students were sent to Belize to conduct undergraduate research without faculty. Business, Agriculture, Ecology and Honors College faculty and Peacework worked closely with Johnson and Redding to align them with a project that both suited their interests and would benefit the community. Once in country, the students were required to adapt to new circumstances and solve problems entirely on their own. Using game cameras and live traps, Johnson and Redding documented the mammal species in the park. When Johnson and Redding were not hiking or camping in the jungle to conduct research, they spent their time living in a house with four other University of Arkansas students. This was an opportunity to integrate more into the community of Dangriga. Johnson and Redding went to Belize to conduct research, but the service-learning experience challenged and influenced the students much more than the scientific knowledge they acquired. Although Johnson and Redding’s programs in Mozambique and Belize had similar research components and service-learning objectives, they resulted in two very different experiences.



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