Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation
- How to Choose a Program
- View SIT Study Abroad Undergraduate Research / ISP Collection
- View the 2013 Overview Brochure (PDF, 1MB)
- View the 2013 Semester Catalog (PDF, 4MB)
- View the 2013 Summer Catalog (PDF, 1MB)
- View Our Photo Galleries on Flickr
- Academic Resources/Library
- Track Your Application Online
- US State Department "Students Abroad"
- SIT Study Abroad Gear
Faculty and Staff
Sylvia Seger, Academic Director
Sylvia Seger is a specialist in the education and application of ecological field study techniques and methods of tropical biodiversity conservation research. Her field experience in ecology is comprehensive; she has participated in lowland humid forest research projects in the fields of ornithology, ethnobotany, and entomology. Ms. Seger also has extensive experience as an environmental activist and was responsible for compiling and mapping the endangered species habitat range data in Ecuador’s Mindo Important Bird Area as part of the OCP oil pipeline dispute.
While focused primarily on ecology education, Ms. Seger is also a tropical dendrology specialist and a certified naturalist guide. She has worked in Japan, Colombia, Switzerland, and the United States as an educator and curriculum development consultant. She holds both US and Liechtenstein citizenship. Seger has been director of the Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation program since 1989. She received a BS from California State University (Northridge) and a master’s in intercultural management and development from SIT Graduate Institute. She is currently completing a second master’s degree in geographic information systems as applied to conservation and natural resource management in tropical ecosystems.
Ms. Seger recently published three online photo field guides on the Field Museum website, two on hummingbirds (Pichincha and Santo Domingo) and one on primates (Orellana); three more are in progress, including one on Galapagos fish and marine fauna.
Xavier Silva, Ph.D., Academic Director
Dr. Xavier Silva, an Ecuadorian, received his Ph.D. in entomology applied to ecology from the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris, France. He earned his master’s degree and B.S. at the same university focusing on ecology and biology, including population ecology, biogeography, and other environmental sciences applied to tropical ecosystems. Dr. Silva has worked extensively in applying his scientific knowledge to the conservation of natural resources in most Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as in several countries in Africa and Asia. For several years Dr. Silva was the director of biodiversity conservation for The Nature Conservancy’s Latin America and the Caribbean Program based in Washington, DC. Dr. Silva was later the director of NatureServe’s Latin America and Caribbean Program; NatureServe is a conservation science organization that works with numerous international conservation NGOs. Dr. Silva has also taught at the San Francisco University of Quito. Among his several publications, Dr. Silva has written Butterflies of Ecuador and The Ecotourism Guide to Ecuador. Sustainable development through ecotourism is one of his topics of interest. He is president of the Entomological Society of Ecuador and is a member of the Entomological Society of France and the Ornithological Society of Ecuador.
Lecturers for this program typically include:
- Alexandra Almeida, Environmental Activist, Acción Ecológica
- Ernesto Briones, Researcher, EcoCiencia
- Roberto Castro, Local Guide and President of Flor de Mayo, La Florida Cloud Forest Reserve
- Leonore Cavallero, M.A., Multicultural Educator, Academic Director, SIT Ecuador: Culture and Development
- Mary Ellen Fieweger, M.A., Latin American Studies, Writer/Editor of Periódico INTAG, Historian, and Environmental Activist, First Price Environmental Journalism, Ecuador 2009
- Anjali Kumar, Ph.D., Researcher
- Diego Mosquera, station manager, TBS-Tiputini Biodiversity Station
- Marcia Ramirez, Activist, Junin Community Organizer, DECOIN
- Sandy Statz and Carlos Zorrilla, Managesr, La Florida Cloud Forest Reserve
- Lenin Villacís, Geologist, Galapagos Guide
- Vlastimil Zak, Botanist, Researcher, Professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito
María Cuvi, M.A., Researcher, Teacher, and Activist
María Cuvi holds an M.A. in literature from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. She is considered one of the leading feminist authors in Ecuador. She has extensive experience as a researcher, teacher, and activist. As a professor, she has taught several courses on gender and development, poverty, ethnicity, social movements, environmental issues, and academic writing at several universities and graduate schools including Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Universidad Politécnica Salesiana del Ecuador, Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales de Madrid, Universidad de LLeida, Catalunya, Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Pitzer College Program in Ecuador. María Cuvi is the author and editor of several pioneer studies in the field of gender both in Ecuador and in the Andean region.
Diego Quiroga, Ph.D.
Diego Quiroga holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently vice president of external and student affairs at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and co-director of the Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts and the Sciences (GAIAS). His area of expertise is sociocultural anthropology, and his topical interests include medical anthropology, environmental anthropology, and indigenous and Afro-American cultures of Latin America. Dr. Quiroga has served as dean of the graduate school, dean of academic affairs, dean of social sciences, and full-time professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito; he has taught courses in history, Andean anthropology, and medical anthropology. He has conducted extensive research in Ecuador, and his work has been published in many prestigious academic journals. Amazon Basin Productive Systems and Health in Communities Living in the Upper Amazon Basin, Ecuador and Magic and Healing: The Role of the Devil and the Saints in Muisne, Ecuador constitute some of his major contributions to the field.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Ecuador, Quito
Language Study: Spanish
Prerequisites: Coursework in environmental studies, ecology, or biology; 4 semesters Spanish Read more...
View Student Evaluations for this program: