Wild Patagonia: Fire and Ice


This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Chile.

Major academic themes include:

  • Climate change resilience
  • Glacial dynamics
  • Geology and volcanic activity
  • Penguin behavior and endangered species protection
  • Coastal and alpine ecology
  • Conservation strategy and practice
  • National park visitation and management


On the Wild Patagonia: Fire and Ice program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit language and culture course, and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.

Click on each course to view a description

SFS 2001 Language, Culture, and Society of Chile 2 credits
SFS 3081 Political and Social Dimensions of Conservation 4 credits
SFS 3601 Earth Systems and Climate Science 4 credits
SFS 3781 Patagonian Ecology 4 credits
SFS 4910 Directed Research 4 credits

Field Skills

You will practice valuable skills in the field which may include: species identification and population monitoring, habitat and biodiversity assessment, research design and implementation, natural resource valuation, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, communicating science, research presentation, and Spanish language skills.


You will visit different ecosystems and communities while in the field, which may include glaciers and ice fields, fjords, coastal villages and port cities, Valdivian temperate forests, protected areas surrounding the Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes, penguin colonies, freshwater ecosystems in the Lakes District, and popular national parks.


Coming soon!

Directed Research

In the Directed Research course, each student completes a field research project under the mentorship of a faculty member – beginning with data collection and analysis and concluding with a research paper and presentation. Project subject areas span ecology, natural resource management, conservation science, environmental ethics, and socioeconomics.

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All program components are subject to change.