Through coursework, field exercises, and Directed Research, students experience the richness of the Andes-Amazon region, study people’s dependence on the environment, examine threats to the environment and to social networks, and explore the tools and strategies that both mitigate threats and promote well-being among rural communities. Our research projects are geared towards identifying the range of socio-ecological issues, as well as basic questions about biodiversity, that help us guide and inform the program’s research agenda.
Explore the lowland rainforest on a multi-day excursion, visiting oxbow lakes and flooded rainforests to understand differences in forest types and species composition
Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas on a multiday expedition, investigating highland tropical forests, historical and modern methods of natural resource management, and the interface between society and the environment
Experience a cloud forest ecosystem at Wayqecha Biological Station, studying long-term impacts of climate change in the area, and comparing the flora and fauna with that of tropical rainforests
Through Directed Research (DR)—as opposed to basic, applied, or independent research—students conduct research on a specific topic that is part of the SFS Center’s long-term strategic research plan, which has been developed in partnership with local community stakeholders and clients.
The course, taught by resident SFS faculty, provides students with the opportunity to apply the scientific process in a mentored field research project that addresses a local environmental issue. Through the DR project, students contribute to a growing body of scientific research that informs local conservation and resource management decisions.