International Education

O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2889

Office hours
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

In-person and virtual advising hours
Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4 p.m.

Walk-in advising hours
Mon - Thurs: 1 - 3 p.m.

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843

Students conducting research in Ecuador

For more information contact:

Scott Tiegs
(248) 370-2695

Tropical Field Ecology in Ecuador

The Tropical Field Ecology in Ecuador study abroad program is a field-based introduction to tropical ecology with an emphasis on providing students with first-hand experiences with tropical ecosystems and tropical biodiversity. The course will be conducted in Ecuador where alpine glaciers, cloud forests, rainforests and the riverine ecosystems of the upper Amazon basin are readily accessible. The program dates TBD.

Where You
Will Be

Students will fly into Quito, Ecuador and take a cable car to Pichincha. By bus students will arrive at 18,000 feet glacial Antisana. The journey continues to Amazonia, Bellavista, Machalilla, and outbound from Guayaquil.

What You
Will Learn

Students will enroll in BIO 4333: Tropical Field Ecology, a course which has been previously held in Costa Rica, and Eleuthera, Bahamas. Participants will be undergraduates from the Departments of Biology, and Chemistry (especially those from the Environmental Science Program). Priority will be given to students who have taken BIO 3330 (formerly 301 Ecology).

Learning outcomes include

  • Appreciation for the biodiversity in tropical ecosystems
  • Recognition and identification of important tropical plant and animal taxa
  • Increased knowledge of the biology and ecology of tropical organisms
  • Better understanding of ecological connections between organisms and their habitat
  • Holistic view of species interactions in the tropical communities, including mutualisms, commensalisms, parasitism, and predator/prey relationships etc.
  • Awareness of distinct tropical habitats and the physical and biological factors affecting the distribution of organisms
  • Recognize evolutionary behavioral strategies and morphological adaptations among tropical organisms
  • Familiarization with food webs and energy flow in tropical ecosystems
What You
Will Do

Students will travel to different Ecuadorian ecosystems including alpine grasslands, glacial streams, rainforests, cloud forests, sandy intertidal, rivers and riparian forests. We will have a dedicated bus for the trip, as well as an interpretive Ecuadorian guide.

Tropical Field Ecology in Ecuador
Number of Credits3  (Tuition not included in program cost)
Program Cost$3,750
Application depositNone
MealsIncluded in program cost
Books and suppliesIncluded
Extra costsPassport and personal incidentals