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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


COMM 3090 Experiential Writing in the Yucatan: Environmental and Cultural Communication

Course description

The natural and cultural experience of ten days in the Yucatan will serve as the inspiration for compelling written communication. Students will master writing for diverse audiences, from an academic journal to popular media. Keys to successful communication include: grabbing and maintaining the reader’s attention while synthesizing complex or controversial material; developing narrative; and not distracting the reader with weak writing, lack of clarity, or poor structure. Through readings and field trips, students will explore ecosystem conservation, botanical, and cultural issues in a rich and diverse landscape. These experiences will be the basis of the written assignments, augmented by research. This course is a demanding educational experience. Classes are full days with homework overnight. Some course work must be completed in advance of the first day of class. Outcome 1: Demonstrate mastery of written communication skills across multiple media. Outcome 2: Communicate complex or controversial information. Outcome 3: Integrate personal experience and scholarly research for effective online writing. Outcome 4: Interpret trade-offs between economic development, conservation and food security. Outcome 5: Develop a deeper understanding of historic and present-day Mayan culture, including complex socio-economic challenges.

Students and instructors will meet prior to the trip. The number of assignments and course content is typical of what would be covered in a full semester writing course. Students are expected to travel to Mexico on January 5th and return on January 15th.


At least one prior college-level writing course. Instructor consent.


The next offering of this course is undetermined at this time. Find similar upcoming programs by tag: communication, culture, ecology/nature, international, writing

Tuition and fees

See the Tuition and fees page for more information.

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