summer session I


The Patagonian Winter


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. Read more about the SFS program model.

Major academic themes include:

  • Interdisciplinary critical thinking
  • Socio-ecology, conservation, and globalization
  • Winter ecology
  • Climate change and biodiversity loss
  • Southern Hemisphere high-latitude indigenous cultures
  • Conservation challenges posed by climate change and resource extraction


On the Patagonian Winter program, you will take one 4-credit course. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This course is taught in English.

Check back soon for the course description and syllabus.

SFS 3282 Patagonian Winter 4 Credits

Core Skills

You will be challenged to examine the natural phenomenon of the Winter Solstice through various lenses – physical, social, and ecological – within the context of Southern Patagonia. This interdisciplinary approach will teach you a variety of skills, including interdisciplinary system-thinking around conservation, key informant interviewing, aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling in freezing glacial rivers, and landscape observation of rugged Patagonian steppes, forests, wetlands, and rivers.

Field Sites

You will visit locations and meet people that will help provide context to explore the implications and impacts of the coming of winter and the longest night of the year. This includes visiting Patagonian ranches (estancias) in the hills and forests of Southern Patagonia, hiking through the forests, along the rivers, and up to glaciers in Torres del Paine National Park, and learning from Kawesqar and Mapuche-Williche people living in the region.

Where You'll Be Living

Surrounded by the jagged peaks of Cerro Benítez and the deep blue waters of the Señoret Channel lies the port city of Puerto Natales – the gateway to the famous Torres del Paine National Park. Located in the heart of this bustling tourist hub is the Center for Climate Studies, your home base for expeditions throughout the region.

  • Up to 6-person, dorm-style rooms with shared bathrooms
  • Classroom and student lounge
  • Kitchen and dining room, and on-site cooking staff
  • Just a few blocks from the town square, shops, and cafes of Puerto Natales
  • Short walk to the Señoret Channel, a scenic fjord with views of the Andes