Quick Info

  • Andes and Amazon Field School
  • Summer
  • : Panther Program
  • : Anthropology, Biology, Marketing, Communication, Environmental Studies, Health and Rehab Sciences, Latin American Studies
  • : June 30, 2018 - July 27, 2018
  • : In-State: $4,900; Out-of-State: $5,100
  • : January 28, 2018
  • : 2.75 GPA (2.5 for engineers), Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus, Clear Judicial Record

Academics

JULY: Students will take ANTH XXXX: Amazonian Culture and Environment in the morning and then choose between BIOSC 1220 and COMMRC XXXX in the afternoon.

AM Class (required):

The course examines Amazonian cultural knowledge of water, weather, plant and animal life seeking to uncover underlying assumptions that constitute a systematic, if implicit, Amazonian philosophy of nature.  It also teaches students how to ask key questions and to carry out qualitative ethnographic research in the Cultural Anthropology and the Humanities.  How do Amazonian people understand their relatedness to the natural world.  How do they understand plant and animal behavior.  What is believed to cause new species to emerge or to become extinct? How are human emotions related to the seasonal cycle of rains?  How is plant and animal ecology believed to serve as a model for understanding human society and vice versa.  What aesthetic, emotional or religious practices were developed to create bonds of empathy or communication between human beings and the natural world.

PM Class (choose 1 of the 2 following courses):

Pre-requisite: Students must have completed two semesters of General Biology. This 3-Credit course provides a solid foundation in tropical forest ecology.  It is designed to prepare students to carry out research on the interaction of plant and animal communities and to engage the serious challenges facing neotropical forests. Students will learn to compare pristine to altered forests identifying key factors in forest decline and regeneration.  Students will examine each of the diverse elevational zones that comprise the Amazonian watershed.  The highlight will be a visit to Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park, an untouched area of the Amazon with the highest bio-diversity on earth. *Counts towards the Biology Major*
3-Credit, This course examines the communication challenges and opportunities provided by the rise of social media in the Amazon basin.  Within the last 5 years, social media and messenger apps have begun to link remote populations to the rest of world.  Exemplary of this change is the Amazon Basin where previously isolated communities now post videos of of illegal logging, speeches by their leaders, and dreams of their young people in real time. These new social channels create a newly connected frontier and voice for sustainability and enterprise. Students will review and learn how social media is used by many stakeholders (indigenous communities, governments, organizations and multi-national corporations) and how it shapes the development of Ecuador and the Amazon

On-Site Faculty And Staff

Tod Swanson, Associate Professor, Arizona State University, PhD University of Chicago, is the on-site director for the Pitt in Ecuador program.  He is a specialist in Amazonian culture and environment.   His areas of research includes indigenous relations to plant and animal species and Kichwa linguistics. Swanson manages the 1300 acre Iyarina Forest Preserve as an ongoing experiment in sustaining of fragmented Amazonian forest. In 1999 Swanson founded the Andes and Amazon Field School in his wife's home community on the Napo River.
In 1999 Swanson founded the Andes and Amazon Field School in his wife's home community on the Napo River. Swanson's administrative experience includes having directed Arizona State University's Center for Latin American Studies as a Title VI National Resource Center from 1997-2007.  He has also held elected office as a councilman for environmental affairs for the Santu Urku Amazonian Kichwa Community. 

Walt Carson, Dr. Carson received his Ph. D. in 1993 with Richard Root at Cornell University, performed his postdoctoral studies with David Tilman at the University of Minnesota and Steve Hubbell at Princeton University, and joined the Department in 1994.

 

 

Housing

You will be staying in spacious rooms that look out on the river and forest. Double or triple occupancy. Bathrooms in room with abundant hot water. High quality mattresses for a good rest. You will sleep to the sound of frogs, the river, and heavy rain on the roof. Wake to the sound of birds.

Three meals per day are provided for you in a dining room with an expansive view of the Napo River. A single menu du jour is served family style to all guests. Recipes include a mixture of Ecuadorian and American dishes with opportunities to savor Andean and Amazonian cuisine. Vegetarian meals are available. All meals are prepared with high standards of food safety.

Pricing And Dates

Summer 2018: July Session

In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$4,900 $5,100
Arrive in Quito Depart Quito
June 30, 2018 July 27, 2018

Keep in mind that dates may change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.

Please Note: All students are required to attend the mandatory Pre-Departure Bash.  This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your programs!  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program.

The Pre-Departure Bash for this program will be on: February 10, 2018 at TBD in TBD. Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application!

 

Inclusions & Exclusions

As a part of your Ecuador program fee, the follow are included in the program:

  • Tuition for six credits
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure (group transfer only)
  • Transportation from Quito to the Andes and Amazon Field School
  • Three family style meals a day while at AAFS
  • Multi-Day trip to the Yasuni National Park (accommodations included), one of the wildest remaining areas of the Amazon, with the biodiversity in the world.
  • Multi-Day trip to the Yanayacu Biological Field Station and Creative Arts Center (accommodations included)
  • International travel health insurance
  • Cultural activities

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Pitt study abroad administrative fee ($300)
  • Roundtrip international airfare (~$1200)
  • Additional meals and personal expenses (~$500)
  • Passport fees (~$100)
  • Vaccinations (~$200) - Please refer to the CDC's website for suggested vaccinations for Ecuador

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

Special Information

  • The field school is tucked in the rainforest along the Napo River.
  • Classrooms are held in open air rooms.
  • There will be bugs. 
  • Some classes/lectures will involve hiking in the forest for a few hours.  
  • The juice at breakfast is phenomenal
  • You will fly into and out of Quito, Ecuador

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Tim Crawford

Walk-In Advising Hours: MWF 2-4 PM

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, a Program Manager here in the Study Abroad Office. I’m proud to be from a small town in Central PA but now love calling Pittsburgh home. My study abroad experience includes a semester in France during my sophomore year, Spring Break in London during Grad School and Summer in Italy as a Program Assistant. My experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous study abroad opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure whether it’s exploring a new city or new neighborhood in PGH. I fully embrace the yinzer way of life and plan my schedule accordingly around every Pens, Bucs and Stillers game. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study abroad programs and answer any of your questions. Please reach me at TSC29@pitt.edu or 412-648-2156.