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.
- Field lectures on the overwhelming biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest and its causes at several key sites including Alpahuayo-Mishana and Pacaya Samiria
- Observations on the impacts of extractive industries, such as logging and fishing in the conservation of Amazonian natural resources
- Collaborations with local Bora indigenous groups in ways to address environmental concerns in their communities
- Study highland tropical rainforests during a multi-day excursion to Cusco and the Sacred Valley
- Research on monkey behavior and ecology