Patagonia is a land of fire and ice. Here, massive glaciers and active volcanoes form a wild landscape unlike any other. Spend a semester amid soaring peaks, narrow fjords, and fields of ice as you study the conservation and the impacts of climate change. For most people, the trails of Torres del Paine National Park are a sought-after destination, but for you, they’ll become classrooms for research and field work. Starting from the SFS Center near Puerto Natales, embark on expeditions to the southernmost tip of South America and the volcanic lakes region of northern Patagonia to become familiar with the region’s full scope of diverse ecosystems. The semester ends with an extensive research project in the field.
What is unique about this program?
Through coursework, field exercises, and directed research, students experience the diversity and fragility of Patagonia. The research mirrors the goals of the Chilean government’s 2017 national plan on climate change. This plan identifies four themes for action: adaptation, mitigation, means of implementation, and climate change management on the regional and communal levels. Students will work with these communities, NGOs and local landholders to measure and observe vulnerable ecosystems and communities as Patagonian climatic conditions continue to change.
In the Directed Research course, each student completes a field research project under the mentorship of a faculty member – beginning with data collection and analysis and concluding with a research paper and presentation. Project subject areas span ecology, natural resource management, conservation science, environmental ethics, and socioeconomics.
How do I apply?
Applying to study abroad is a 2-Step process. You may complete both steps simultaneously, but Cornell Approval must be obtained before your program advisor in Global Learning can complete any approval or nomination forms for the program itself.
- For Cornell Approval, click on the "Apply" button on this webpage. Applications are approved by the Office of Global Learning on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
- For Program Admission, apply directly on the program website. Most programs have rolling admissions.
On the Global Learning website you will find a list of current returned students who have agreed to share contact information, stories from students in their own words, and selections of recommended programs in these categories: Cornell Global Programs, College Administered, Global Issues, STEM-focused, and Beyond Europe.