The Caribbean Center for Education and Research (CCER)
The Caribbean Center for Education and Research (CCER) in Punta Cana, on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, provides a base for Virginia Tech faculty to conduct research as well as instruct students on biodiversity, environmental and social sustainability, global issues in natural resources, and hotel and tourism management. Faculty and students can take advantage of the PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation to study the natural resources of the area. PCEF maintains a 2,000-acre natural forest reserve, 14 kilometers of protected coral reef, freshwater lagoons and coastal mangroves. Virginia Tech has partnered with the PUNTACANA Ecological Foundation and the PUNTACANA Resort and Club to set up the center.
Tech professors have offered the following semester-long courses at the center:
- Geography of Middle America
- Physical Geography
- Tropical Ornithology
- Biotech Entrepreneurship
- Global Issues in Natural Resources
- The Rise of Modern Latin America
- Introduction to Spanish-American Culture and Civilization
- Environmental and Social Sustainability in the Dominican Republic
- Introduction to Travel and Tourism Management
In addition to offering courses, Tech faculty work with graduate and undergraduate students on projects of relevance in the area, for example, performing a housing survey in a settlement where resort employees live and conducting a health care survey of the same community.