Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation

Faculty and Staff

Xavier Silva, PhD, Academic Director
Dr. Xavier Silva, an Ecuadorian, received his PhD in entomology applied to ecology from the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris, France. He earned his master’s degree and BS 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 Latin American and the Caribbean, 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. Dr. Silva has also taught at the San Francisco University of Quito. Among his several publications, Dr. Silva has written several books, including Butterflies of Ecuador and Ecuador’s Butterfly Ecology, which was awarded Best Biological Publication of Ecuador in 2012. Currently Dr. Silva is president of the Entomological Society of Ecuador and is a member of the Entomological Society of France and the Ornithological Society of Ecuador.

View Dr. Silva's full CV.

Leonore Cavallero, Intercultural Specialist

Leonore Cavallero, Intercultural Specialist
Leonore Cavallero has an MA in multicultural education/bilingual counseling from the University of San Francisco, California. She has worked with SIT since 1993, as an academic director of the Ecuador: Culture and Development program and, for one semester, SIT’s Cape Town, South Africa, program. Her professional experience in Ecuador includes eight years working for the Peace Corps Training Center as family coordinator, master trainer, and interim training center director. Prior to the Peace Corps, she worked for two years as a guidance counselor for Ecuadorian high school students. Leonore regularly presents sessions on intercultural/interpersonal relationships and safety issues to international education and volunteer organizations based in Ecuador. She wrote Surviving Re-entry: A Readjustment Manual for Parents, a handbook for parents of students returning home from studying abroad, as well as a safety manual for students. In her role as intercultural specialist, Leonore serves both programs in Ecuador using her expertise to provide support and assistance to students and staff. She has lived in Ecuador since 1981 and raised her two children in a bilingual environment. She has Ecuadorian residency and dual nationality in the US and Italy.

Review Leonore Cavallero's full CV.

Lecturers for this program typically include:

María Cuvi, MA, Researcher, Teacher, and Activist
María Cuvi holds an MA 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, PhD
Diego Quiroga holds a PhD 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 Galápagos 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.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Quito

Language Study: Spanish

Prerequisites: Coursework in environmental studies, ecology, biology, or related fields; 4 semesters college-level Spanish. Read more...


View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

Connect With Us

Connect icons

888.272.7881 (toll-free in US)



Mailing Address:
PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA

Contact us by email.