winter session


Foundations of Patagonian Ecology


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:

  • Coastal and alpine ecology
  • Endangered species protection
  • Climate change impacts and resilience
  • Penguin behavior
  • Conservation strategy and practice
  • National park visitation and protected areas management


On the Foundations of Patagonian Ecology program, you will take one 3-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.

Click on the course to view a description

SFS 3781 Patagonian Ecology 3 credits

Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: terrestrial biodiversity assessments and survey techniques, species ID and population monitoring, landscape and soils analysis, tourism impact assessments, scientific writing and communication.

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include glaciers and ice fields, glacial lakes and rivers, sub-polar broadleaf evergreen forests, pampa grasslands, penguin colonies, popular national parks, and estancias and port cities.

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.

  • Dorm living with two to four students per room
  • Classroom and student lounge
  • Kitchen and dining room, and on-site cooking staff
  • Nearby running routes in town
  • 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