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.
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 2019, or by approval of faculty leader. This program involves some significant hiking and outdoor activity, students should be in good physical condition to participate.
During the program in Ecuador, you will earn eight-credits through the following courses.
- Neotropical Ecology - Field Studies (6 UO Credits)
- Neotropical Ecology - Field Projects (2 UO Credits)
All courses are part of the regular biology curriculum at the University of Oregon and fulfill several degree requirements.
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.
UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.
Faculty and Staff
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.
Dates and Deadlines
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If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.
Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.