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Excursion Chile and Argentina: Systems of the central and southern Andes

UNIVIE 290.012 EX3 WS2018 SS2016 [In German]

Martin Mergili
Marie-Claire Schug, Peter Mathis (Teaching assistants)

Forming part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Andes represent one of the dominant features of South America. They do not only separate - or connect - Chile and Argentina in the southern part of the continent, but also act as a climatic divide. Lush temperate rainforests are found as well as the driest deserts worldwide. Whilst the Andes have been the home to prospering cultures for millenia and the societies still interact with the natural processes in multiple ways, rapid transitions are observed. Today's lifestyles largely reflect global trends which, in consequence, strongly influence the urban and also the rural development.

This excursion has guided the participants through some of the major natural and cultural landscapes of the Andes of Chile and Argentina. The key objective of the course was to sharpen the students' understanding of the natural and social systems and, in particular, the interactions between the society and the environment. The field trip was split into two parts: the obligatory main excursion starting in Antofagasta (2016) and Iquique (2018), and terminating in Puerto Montt (2016) and Santiago (2018), and an optional extension leading to southern Patagonia.

Related reports, presentations and movies can be found at anden.at.