Physical/Life Science Exploration
The goal of this course is to examine the fundamentals of ecology and evolution through the lens of human disease. We will specifically investigate the interplay between human disease, changing ecosystems, and social structures by focusing on a short list of zoonotic diseases known to occur in Africa, and Ghana in particular. Students will examine life history of these diseases, known contagion pathways, and the ecological conditions likely to be important for disease spread. Through this process, students will learn the fundamentals of evolution by natural selection and its application to epidemiology and public health (e.g., applications to the evolution of resistance and the response of disease vectors to changing habitats and/or selection regimes). This course will provide students with a basic science background for exploring further public health issues during the second half of their trip to Ghana.