At the heart of this program are the conflicts and synergies of conservation and development in the north Peruvian Amazon region. The program includes a multi-day excursion to the Sacred Valley, the city of Cusco—the hub for visitors to Machu Picchu—and the adjacent Andean highlands. Students learn firsthand about the ecological patterns and processes that underpin the extraordinary biodiversity of the Amazon region along the catchment of the western Amazon River and its tributaries. Students explore biological diversity and conservation, ecological interactions, and the value of ecosystem services, as well as the effects of climate change and land use on regional and global biodiversity and human well-being.
What is unique about this program?
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.
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.
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, complete an external application directly on the program’s webpage, using the link in the “Snapshot” section. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the general Cornell deadline for approval. Many programs fill by rolling admission.