Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

SIS Abroad

Environmental Aid: Policies, Projects, and Implementation

Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


Analyze the design, implementation, and effectiveness of international organizations' aid projects in the Galápagos Islands. On this program, you will examine the environmental, political, and economic pressures facing the Galápagos as you conduct field research in the most biodiverse archipelago in the world.

Pelican landing

Faculty Director

Tamar Gutner

Academic Details

The Program will consist of two academic components worth three credits each: an intensive seminar, which will include academic meetings at American University prior to departure for the Galápagos and site visits to various aid projects in the Galápagos; and an internship OR independent study in Ecuador. Students may enroll in both the seminar and internship or independent study, or in the seminar only.

Students in the Program will explore a variety of themes and issues related to environmental aid in the Galápagos, including:

  • The interplay of political and economic issues and their impacts on environmental challenges facing the Galápagos
  • Environmental pressures from tourism, overfishing, and invasive species
  • How donor organizations operate in the environmental sector
  • Multilateral, bilateral, and nonprofit international donor organizations in the Galápagos

SIS can place students who participate in the seminar in an internship with a partner organization in Ecuador. A list of potential internship organizations can be found in the Forms section of this page. 

For students who are interested in experiencing more of Ecuador, this program can be partnered with the SIS Summer Abroad Program based in Quito, Diversity, Development, and Sustainability in the Andes.

Site Visits

Students will visit various environmental aid projects on the islands, which may include projects sponsored by the UNDP, UNESCO, WWF, and the Ecuadorian government. 

2012 Program Schedule


Program Costs

AU tuition plus program fee (details in the Program Guide).

Who Should Attend

Graduate students in all majors and disciplines from any U.S. university may apply. Students with interests in environmental policy, international organizations, conservation, development, project evaluation, and/or tourism are invited to apply. Advanced undergraduates who have completed at least 60 credits toward the completion of their degree are also invited to apply.


Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Quito. Students will be housed in group accommodation during the seminar; students staying in Ecuador for the internship component will be responsible for their own housing during the internship period.

Application and Deadlines


SIS Students Abroad Blogs

SIS Abroad students in the 2008 South Africa program.

Follow our students around the world.

Read More About SIS

Contact Us!


Facebook: American University SIS Study Abroad

Twitter: SISStudyAbroad

Google Chat:

Galapagos Islands

Students interview a fisherman in the Galapagos as part of the interdisciplinary course The Practice of Environmentalism: Science, Policy and Communication in the Field

Student participants in the Galapagos Islands class, "The Practice of Environmentalism: Science, Policy, and Communication," have finished their varied projects.

Learn more