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Presenting the NapoNet: Developing Global Competencies through Communications Technology in the Peruvian Amazon

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Conference

2013 ASEE International Forum

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 22, 2013

Start Date

June 22, 2013

End Date

June 22, 2013

Conference Session

Track 1 - Session II - Student Development

Tagged Topic

Student Development

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

21.59.1 - 21.59.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/17264

Download Count

83

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Paper Authors

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Christie Ritter The University of Colorado at Boulder

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Christie Ritter is a Junior in Environmental Engineering with a focus in Engineering for Developing Communities at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Alan Rolf Mickelson University of Colorado, Boulder

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Daniel Knight University of Colorado, Boulder

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Daniel W. Knight is the engineering assessment specialist at the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program and Laboratory. He holds a BS in psychology from Louisiana State University, and an MS degree in industrial/organizational psychology and PhD degree in counseling psychology, both from the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining the University of Colorado at Boulder, he gained extensive experience in assessment and teamwork in an engineering education
context through the development and evaluation of a team facilitation training course for engineering undergraduate students. Dr. Knight’s research interests are in the areas of retention, program evaluation and teamwork practices in engineering education. His current duties include the assessment and evaluation of the ITL Program’s hands-on undergraduate courses and K-12 engineering outreach initiatives.

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Jared Leventhal University of Colorado at Boulder

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Jared Leventhal is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder pursuing a B.S. in Civil Engineering as well as a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. He is an active student researcher as part of the NapoNet team.

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David Espinoza University of Colorado at Boulder

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David Espinoza is an electrical engineer with experience in the design of open-source based wireless routers and management of deployments of wireless networks in rural areas of Peru. He graduated from the masters program in Telecommunications and Engineering Management and joined the PhD program in Telecommunications at CU-Boulder. His professional interests are in Information and Communication Technologies for Development and Sustainable Roll Out of Telecommunications Services for Rural Areas of Developing Countries. He has volunteered in the NapoNet project, deployed in the Peruvian Rain Forest, as technical, logistic and field deployments advisor under the supervision of Professor Alan Mickelson since 2008.

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Abstract

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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