Program Details

Location: Cusco, Peru

Dates: Fall 2019: September 22—November 4, 2019
Fall 2020: September 22—November 4, 2020

Accommodations: Primarily camping, research stations, occasional youth hostel and rural lodges

Credits: 15 quarter credits or 10 semester credits

Language: English instruction

Courses: ESCI 437A, ESCI 437B, ESCI 437C

Prerequisites: One college level course of ecology or similar,
18 years of age

Program Costs

Peru Fall 2019
$     150    Application Fee
$  5,500    Program Fee
$  2,950    In-Country Group Fee
$  1,500    Estimated Airfare/Airport Exit Tax
$  900    Estimated Food Money/Personal Spending

$11,000    Total Estimated Cost
Fall 2019: Program fees due by August 1, 2019

Peru Fall 2020
$     150    Application Fee
$  5,550    Program Fee
$  3,000    In-Country Group Fee
$  1,500    Estimated Airfare/Airport Exit Tax
$  900    Estimated Food Money/Personal Spending

$11,100    Total Estimated Cost
Fall 2020: Program fees due by August 1, 2020


The Program

Following a transect from the eastern slopes of the southern Peruvian Andes to the adjacent Amazonian lowlands, our team activities will begin at the Wayqecha Biological Station, home to an exceptional array of high Andean habitats, flora and fauna. Here we join researchers to hone our field and observational skills, examine endemic plant and animal species, and study Andean conservation initiatives. From Wayqecha we travel to the town of Pillcopata and the nearby “Gallito de las Rocas” ecotourism concession, a privately managed protected area in the Andean foothills that aims to profit from sustainable tourism while simultaneously safeguarding biodiversity. We will also explore how uncontrolled development and extraction of natural resources threaten the nearby Manu National Park, and what is being done to boost local economies without risking the integrity of this important protected area.

Our third field study site is the Cocha Cashu Biological Station, located within the heart of Manu National Park, a region minimally impacted by humans that provides critical insights into the biodiversity and ecological processes of a healthy, intact rainforest. Surrounded by an abundance of aquatic and terrestrial habitats and indigenous communities living in voluntary isolation, students will conduct a substantial independent research project on a topic ranging from plant phenology to insect diversity to avian foraging behavior to primate social interactions. Next, we will travel to “Los Amigos” biological station, located adjacent to a 370,000 acre conservation concession, the first of its kind in the world. At Los Amigos, we will learn about a unique approach to conservation that aims to mitigate the negative effects of rapid development and resource extraction in the surrounding forest while at the same time protect abundant wildlife, including harpy eagles, spider monkeys and jaguars. Our final stop is a small, privately managed Brazil nut concession where we will learn about the southern Peruvian Amazon’s leading sustainable non-timber forest product, the conservation value of this renewable resource and the challenges facing sustainable resource extraction.

The insights gained by immersing ourselves in the abundant life of this extraordinarily diverse part of the world, engaging with scientists and locals, and grappling with questions of biological and cultural survival, will form a solid foundation to help us consider broader human and environmental issues and how these are intimately intertwined.

Program Photo Gallery

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More Details






Geoffry R. Gallice

Lead instructor

PhD in Entomology, University of Florida, 2015

Geoff is a tropical biologist and conservationist based in Peru's Madre de Dios region. His research interests are primarily in tropical butterflies, and he has several ongoing projects to study butterfly diversity, ecology, and evolution in southeastern Peru. He also leads the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon, a non-profit organization working in Madre de Dios that aims to conserve Amazonian biodiversity and other natural resources through basic biological research, reforestation and agroforestry, and environmental education and outreach. Geoff has been teaching with Wildlands Studies since 2012 and currently leads our Peru and Ecuador programs.

Geoff’s Other Program: