Tropical Conservation Semester Explores the Amazon

The Tropical Conservation Semester is back in 2022!  Ceiba continues our long history of offering high-quality study abroad programs that lead students on explorations to some of the most biodiverse sites on the planet and offer unparalleled opportunities to assist ongoing conservation projects.  This year, thanks to the University of Wisconsin’s confidence and support, Ceiba embarked on another semester in Ecuador, with 24 fantastic students itching to get out from behind Zoom screens and dive into the real world!  After a few weeks in the sleepy Quito suburb of Cumbayá, we flew and bussde and boated down the Amazon River to the world famous Tiputini Biodiversity Station.  During the pandemic, a partnership between Ceiba and Tiputini raised well over $50,000 to support the station and help them get through the crisis. Now it was time for us to go back to the rainforest, and enjoy two weeks carrying out research in a site teeming with wildlife.  Our students studied fungus diversity, followed troops of Woolly Monkeys (above), surveyed frogs by day and night, and made new discoveries about the aquatic invertebrates of the Tiputini River.

TCS 2022 students

After two weeks, our intrepid group (five shown above) had seen 9 species of monkey, over a hundred kinds of birds, a Giant Anteater, the incredibly rare Short-eared Dog, a massive Brazilian Tapir, and Pink River Dolphins cavorting around our canoe.  And eaten grubs.  A very successful trip!  Students departed with some sadness, but also satisfaction at having visited a forest that for most people is just a dream.