Neotropical Ecology in Ecuador
The tropics, which occupy about seven percent of the Earth’s surface, contain the bulk of our biodiversity (maybe as high as 50%), and they also are the regions that are experiencing some of the highest rates of destruction. At the current rate of destruction, the tropical forests will be completely gone in less than 200 years. The destruction of tropical systems is having many adverse consequences: regional and global climate patterns are changing, potentially important medicinal compounds and other useful products are disappearing, and we are losing much of our biological heritage. There still exists an immense amount of knowledge to be gained from studying tropical ecosystems and a desperate need for more experts in the field of tropical biology.
Watch Professor Peter Wetherwax discuss the origins of the Biology Department’s Neotropical Ecology Program.
Scholarship Opportunity: Scholarship funds are available for students accepted to this program. If interested, please refer to the Scholarship Essay in the program application, and speak with your GEO advisor for more information. The due date for the Scholarship Essay is January 15, 2022.
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In this program you will earn eight upper division BI credits. The program will include mandatory meetings beginning in the spring. All courses are part of the regular BI curriculum at the University of Oregon and fulfill several degree requirements.
UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.
Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.
The academic standing of at least 25 credits by departure for UO students. Completion of UO BI 213 or 283H or equivalent by the end of spring term, or by approval of faculty leader. This program involves some significant hiking and outdoor activity, students should be in good physical condition to participate.
This program has a rolling admission application process: GEO staff (and the program faculty leader, if applicable) will complete a review of the application materials of complete applications in the order that they are submitted (“first come, first serve”). Decisions about acceptance will be made shortly after you submit a complete application. There are some programs that fill fast, some even before the deadline. Students are encouraged to complete applications and commit to programs early.
Acceptance is based on a holistic review of your application. This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and the short statement. Some programs require a letter of recommendation from a faculty that is not the program's faculty leader. If a letter of recommendation is required, you will find more information in your GEO application portal.
This course is led by Tobias Policha PhD, a Career Instructor in the Department of Biology, who started doing research in Ecuador over 10 years ago. You will work with additional local and international scientists and guides while in Ecuador.
While in Quito, you will stay in hotels. Other nights will be spent in shared dormitory-style rooms at research stations and lodges. In one of the cloud forest sites you will stay with a local family with 2 students placed in each home. Some meals will be served by your host families. All of the other sites have a dining room that serves good, simple meals. Vegetarian meals are available, but vegan meals are not. All meals are included in the program fee with the exception of three meals.
In addition to Homestay or Hostel housing, you will also have the opportunity for housing at a Remote Research Location.
GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.
To learn more about COVID regulations while studying abroad, visit our FAQ page.