This program will combine theoretical aspects of tropical rainforest ecology, biodiversity, systematics, and conservation, with intensive field activities in an extraordinary natural setting. By visiting the Amazon rainforest students will not only better appreciate core biological and ecological concepts, but will have a unique opportunity to analyze causes, consequences, and solutions to biodiversity loss, as well as to find deeper meaning in concepts such as environmental ethics, “Gaia,” “Biophilia” and “Deep Ecology.”

This course has two components. One, lecture-based, in which students will learn the biological, conservation, and anthropological characteristics of the eastern Amazon rain forest, particularly the Yasuní region, as well as the processes that explain the origin, and evolution of its biological diversity. At the core of this course is the second component, the fieldwork at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS) in the Yasuní National Park.

At TBS students, under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Vagelli and local scientists, will spend ten days engaged in numerous activities, including trekking in primary forests and boating along the Tiputini River to observe its extraordinary wildlife, including giant river otters and pink river dolphins. Students will learn about animal behavior and ecology of distinct biological communities; will explore and learn about specific topics, such as medicinal plants, arthropods, rainforest adaptations, fungus. Students will participate in the collection of data, will receive training on the use of camera traps and the opportunity to develop a short project on their own.

The overarching goal of this program is to allow students to witness firsthand the extraordinary exuberance of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, with its unparalleled biological diversity and ecological complexity, as well as the threats posed by human actions. This experiential learning is of fundamental value to students pursuing biological sciences, especially for disciplines such as animal behavior, ecology, evolution, systematics, and conservation science.

Activities at TBS will include hikes after dinner to study nocturnal fauna, including the astonishing diversity of insects utilizing light traps, visits to riverbanks, and hikes to the riparian forest to observe and study the behavior of the extraordinary hoatzins. Students will develop short projects, including collecting and identifying fish species in black waters, studying organisms inhabiting various species of bromeliads; studying decomposer communities present on fallen trees, and will participate in the monitoring of the primate community present at TBS as well as study their ecology and behavior.

Program Location(s)
Yasuni, Ecuador

Faculty Leader: Dr. Alejandro Vagelli. Biology Department.

Course Number: 56:120:619; 50:120:599

Course Meeting: Lectures (synchronous) online

Class dates: (tentative) 3/20;3/27;4/3;4/10;4/17;4/24

Program Travel Dates
May 18 – June 1, 2024

Financial Information
Program Cost: $3,065

Program Cost Includes:
International health insurance
Meals and Excursions

Program Cost Does Not Include:
Passport, visa, or airport entrance or exit fees (if applicable)
Vaccinations (if applicable)


Application Process
*Please complete all components of the application.

*Upon completion of this application and acceptance into the course, the Office of International *Students & Global Programs will register you in the course.  You cannot register yourself for this course. 
*Program cost is in addition to tuition, is approximate, and is subject to change.
*To withdraw, contact the Office of International Students & Global Programs at Remember: once you sign the Camden Financial *Responsibility Statement, you may be responsible for paying the entire cost of the program.

Apply Here!