June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
21.59.1 - 21.59.9
Presenting the NapoNet: Developing Global Competencies through Communications Technology in the Peruvian Amazon Since its beginning in 2009, the NapoNet project has provided an opportunity forundergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students to obtain technical knowledge and skills in awide variety of aspects of Global Engineering for community development. The NapoNet teamincludes students from various backgrounds of study, and has partnered with professionals andacademic entities in South America, mostly in Peru. The construction of the network began witha project driven by the UN to install a wireless network along the Napo River to provide a meansof communication for villages along the river. From this, the Grupo de TelecommunicacionesRurales (GTR) installed towers along 445 km of dense, canopied rainforest along the NapoRiver. The University of Colorado at Boulder began this partnership to find ways to use thenetwork to improve health and education in the Napo region. The NapoNet team represents a unique mix of backgrounds and technical abilities, whichlends to an educational experience for all involved. Technical knowledge of the wireless towersis required, but other disciplines have emerged as important to the progress of the team. One ofthe imperative aspects of this project is an acute cultural awareness. The network has thepossibility of serving people from several backgrounds, including descendents from Spanishcolonies, as well as several unique indigenous tribes that call the Napo region home. Anotherperspective approached by this project is an intentional consciousness of the rainforest ecology.The commerce, as well as a general way of life on the Napo River depends heavily on the riveras well as the plants and animals that naturally inhabit it. Due to the inherent importance of theenvironment, the NapoNet team has provided the opportunity to consider its role incommunications technology as well as in culture. An interest in the commerce of the regioncreates the need for an understanding of business as well. Global engineering for community development represents the foundation of theNapoNet project. The intersection of communications, culture, ecology, and commerce are theapplications within this greater purpose. Because these applications cover such a broad scope,the team has invited members of varied backgrounds to participate in research together.Undergraduates and graduate students participate with backgrounds including CommunicationsTechnology, Civil, Electrical, and Environmental Engineering, Psychology, and Education.Technical projects with a global prominence have compelled these team members to step outsidetheir own areas of study and expertise to learn in a more expansive and interdisciplinary sense.This allows them to understand their own contributions more completely. Consequently, thelearning achieved as a function of the NapoNet prompts members to stretch their abilities, createwider boundaries of comfort in approaching technical solutions, and realize an improved idea ofwhat it is to participate in a global context. Data will be shared related to student learningexperiences, the development of global competencies, and impact on the Napo communities.
Ritter, C., & Mickelson, A. R., & Knight, D., & Leventhal, J., & Espinoza, D. (2013, June), Presenting the NapoNet: Developing Global Competencies through Communications Technology in the Peruvian Amazon Paper presented at 2013 ASEE International Forum, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/17264
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