In May 2017, a group of journalism students from MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alta., spent a week in Ecuador – four days in the Amazon rainforest – taking pictures, shooting video and talking to scientists, political observers, and indigenous people. The aim was to tell the story of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station of Universidad San Francisco de Quito, near Yasuni National Park. This is an area of extreme biological diversity and great beauty – which, unfortunately, is sitting on a sea of oil.

The people behind the project

This website was produced by a team from MacEwan University
in Edmonton, Alta., Canada, who spent two weeks in Quito
and the Amazon rainforest collecting words and pictures to tell the story
of the Tiputini Biodiversity Station of Universidad San Francisco de Quito

  Courtney Bettin  is a fourth-year journalism student. Her main interest is long-form storytelling. Her favourite thing about journalism is that it's portable. All she needs to practise her craft is a recorder and a laptop – and she can take it on the road with her and connect with people from around the globe. She is an assistant editor at MacEwan’s student magazine,  the griff.  When she’s not writing, she enjoys camping and painting.

Courtney Bettin is a fourth-year journalism student. Her main interest is long-form storytelling. Her favourite thing about journalism is that it's portable. All she needs to practise her craft is a recorder and a laptop – and she can take it on the road with her and connect with people from around the globe. She is an assistant editor at MacEwan’s student magazine, the griff. When she’s not writing, she enjoys camping and painting.

  Sierra Bilton  is a freelance journalist and photographer, who has written for such publications as  Alberta Avenue  and the  Rat Creek Press.  She loves her craft and aims to use her skills to tell the stories of marginalized people. She also plans to use her affinity for diverse cultures and languages to move onto the international stage after she graduates. Her favourite pastimes are hiking in the Rocky Mountains and eating peanut butter.

Sierra Bilton is a freelance journalist and photographer, who has written for such publications as Alberta Avenue and the Rat Creek Press. She loves her craft and aims to use her skills to tell the stories of marginalized people. She also plans to use her affinity for diverse cultures and languages to move onto the international stage after she graduates. Her favourite pastimes are hiking in the Rocky Mountains and eating peanut butter.

  Hamdi Issawi  is a reporter and fourth-year journalism student. After earning a BA in philosophy from the University of Alberta in 2012, he  broke into radio as a contributor to  Terra Informa , a nationally syndicated, environmental news magazine. Since then, his stories have appeared in several community news outlets, such as the  Rat Creek Press  in central Edmonton, and MacEwan’s student publication,  the griff , where he serves as the research editor. 

Hamdi Issawi is a reporter and fourth-year journalism student. After earning a BA in philosophy from the University of Alberta in 2012, he  broke into radio as a contributor to Terra Informa, a nationally syndicated, environmental news magazine. Since then, his stories have appeared in several community news outlets, such as the Rat Creek Press in central Edmonton, and MacEwan’s student publication, the griff, where he serves as the research editor. 

 
  Jake Pesaruk  is an Edmonton freelance writer and journalism student. He is a regular contributor to such publications as Edmonton's alternative paper,  Vue Weekly,  where he writes about arts and entertainment, and city life. His main interest is the human element of the story. For this project, he explored the impact of oil exploration on the Quechua and Huaoroni indigenous people who have called the rainforest home for centuries. 

Jake Pesaruk is an Edmonton freelance writer and journalism student. He is a regular contributor to such publications as Edmonton's alternative paper, Vue Weekly, where he writes about arts and entertainment, and city life. His main interest is the human element of the story. For this project, he explored the impact of oil exploration on the Quechua and Huaoroni indigenous people who have called the rainforest home for centuries. 

  Maria Silva  is a fourth-year journalism student who enjoys writing features, travelling and eating. Right now, her main ambition is to see the world, writing about different cultures and crafting profiles of people who are making a difference in their communities. After she gets her degree, she plans to pick up her backpack once again, and head off in search of adventure in Africa and Australia, blogging about her journeys as she goes.

Maria Silva is a fourth-year journalism student who enjoys writing features, travelling and eating. Right now, her main ambition is to see the world, writing about different cultures and crafting profiles of people who are making a difference in their communities. After she gets her degree, she plans to pick up her backpack once again, and head off in search of adventure in Africa and Australia, blogging about her journeys as she goes.

  Phillip Swallow  is a fourth-year political science student. His honours thesis explores institutional corruption in Ecuador. He is passionate about the reality of politics in the developing world, and the role the international community can play in promoting inclusive development. When he graduates, he plans to pursue a masters in political science and development, with a focus on resource-rich developing countries. 

Phillip Swallow is a fourth-year political science student. His honours thesis explores institutional corruption in Ecuador. He is passionate about the reality of politics in the developing world, and the role the international community can play in promoting inclusive development. When he graduates, he plans to pursue a masters in political science and development, with a focus on resource-rich developing countries. 

 
  Jazmin Tremblay  is a fourth-year journalism student. She studied international aid and development at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, Netherlands. She also has worked as a teacher and project facilitator in Nairobi. She has a strong interest in community development and intercultural relations, and describes herself as a travel addict. After she graduates, she plans to go on to a masters in journalism. 

Jazmin Tremblay is a fourth-year journalism student. She studied international aid and development at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, Netherlands. She also has worked as a teacher and project facilitator in Nairobi. She has a strong interest in community development and intercultural relations, and describes herself as a travel addict. After she graduates, she plans to go on to a masters in journalism. 

  Jason Symington  holds a masters degree in fine art. He has exhibited his work at national and international exhibitions, and his work is in collections around the world, including the Canadian embassy in Tokyo and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. He has taught fine-art photography, photojournalism, visual communications, and multimedia news production. He is also a creative director, guest lecturer and entrepreneur. 

Jason Symington holds a masters degree in fine art. He has exhibited his work at national and international exhibitions, and his work is in collections around the world, including the Canadian embassy in Tokyo and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. He has taught fine-art photography, photojournalism, visual communications, and multimedia news production. He is also a creative director, guest lecturer and entrepreneur. 

  Brian Gorman  is an associate professor of communication studies. He holds a master’s in journalism and a PhD in communication, from Carleton University. He has been an editor, reporter, feature writer, critic and columnist for such news organizations as the  Toronto Star,  Sun Media, and Tribune Media Services. He is the author of the book,  Crash to Paywall: Canadian Newspapers and the Great Disruption , from McGill-Queen's University Press.

Brian Gorman is an associate professor of communication studies. He holds a master’s in journalism and a PhD in communication, from Carleton University. He has been an editor, reporter, feature writer, critic and columnist for such news organizations as the Toronto Star, Sun Media, and Tribune Media Services. He is the author of the book, Crash to Paywall: Canadian Newspapers and the Great Disruption, from McGill-Queen's University Press.

 

              Production

                Copy editing                                                                 Hamdi Issawi, Courtney Bettin, Jake Pesaruk

                Photo and video editing                                              Jazmin Tremblay, Maria Silva, Sierra Bilton

                Photo and video advisor                                              Jason Symington MFA

                Publisher and editor-in-chief                                       Brian Gorman PhD

               © 2017