Study Tour in Imlil, Morocco!

Kids helping the soils group do an infiltration test.

The MSc in Environmental Protection & Management has been quite the ride from modules were we explored the importance of carbon sinks such as peat bogs to practical courses that challenged us to work as a group on the implementation of food hubs in North Edinburgh. One of the compulsory modules we took as part of this course is “Analysing the Environment”.  It was divided into a class that covered qualitative and quantitative methods in semester one, and a practical study trip at the end of the second semester. This week we got back from the study trip which took place in Imlil, a small, mainly-tourist town (nature-related tourism), two hours away from Marrakech, Morocco. Our programme and the Soils & Sustainability programme, both co-tught with SRUC (Scottish Rural Agricultural College), spent 7 days studying social and physical sciences there.

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Aye there! Hola! Mba’éichapa!

I am Sophie from Paraguay a country of roughly seven million people, at the heart of South America. We speak Spanish and Guaraní, are huge football fans, love to drink tereré (cold version of mate), and are used to tropical rainstorms that turn our streets into rivers every once in a while. After a year of looking at this blog and reading about the adventures other students embarked on,  I am still in disbelief to be contributing to it myself! Studying the MSc in Environmental Protection & Management has been a dream come true, and I cannot wait to share the experiences as a geoscience student and beyond with you!

Water conservation campaign at Earth Day Texas 2016-biggest Earth Day celebration in the USA

Before coming here, I did my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science & Energy Management in Fort Worth, Texas and worked for a year at an environmental consulting  firm in Dallas writing Phase I Environmental Site Assessment reports. Whilst I am used to living away from home, Edinburgh continues to be a cultural shock for me as it is the very opposite (in every sense! -weather, food “haggis, neeps, and tatties”, landscape, architecture, lifestyle, idioms) when compared to Paraguay, or my most recent home, Texas. After this MSc, I am planning to go back to Paraguay (after six years of living abroad!) and getting a job that allows me to raise awareness and lead strategies to improve environmental issues in my home country and the world. I am fascinated by water conservation and cleanup, especially wetland ecosystems and waterfalls. Below is a picture of the Iguazú Falls in the border between Brazil and Argentina, east of Paraguay. This exemplifies the rich nature we have in South America and the crucial importance of coexisting with, and protecting our natural resources at a global scale.

View of Iguazú Falls & rainbow from Argentinian side

This year I am looking forward to joining the Hillwalking Club, the Permaculture Society, volunteering with different nonprofits, and getting to know my course mates.  In addition, I will be trying out some new recipes (baking for three vegan roomies will be a new challenge!), and out in adventures to improve my photography skills and get to see more of Europe. I also have a passion for hiking, so if you ever want to climb up to Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill hit me up. Until next time folks!

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