The first TIES program was held in Mendoza, Argentina in Spring 2011. Argentina is an important country in South America with a rich and varied social, cultural, economic and political history. Mendoza is a vibrant city set in an important agricultural region in the eastern foothills of the southern Andes. This program was a collaborative interdisciplinary effort by faculty in biology, economics, geology and Latin American studies. The program collaborated with scientists from CRICYT, an Argentinian research organization similar to integrated laboratories sponsored by the U.S. federal government and the National Science Foundation in the United States.
The pilot program involved 20 students and 4 faculty living in a hostel in Mendoza. Students were selected from across disciplines and across age groups, to provide an integrated cohort and a vibrant learning community. Each faculty member provided a 3.5 week concentrated block for project-based inquiry, with dedicated overlap between the blocks to provide interdisciplinary linkages.