Tropical Ecology Program
The Tropical Ecology Program (TEP) provides students with an opportunity to conduct field-based research and study in Ecuador. Operated in collaboration with La Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), the program is ideal for biology and environmental science majors interested in getting hands-on field research experience. TEP students travel from the capital city of Quito to the Pacific Coast, the Galapagos Islands, and the remote Amazonian rainforest.
Located in northwestern South America, Ecuador is one of the most ecologically and topographically diverse countries in the western hemisphere. Ranging in elevation from sea level to over 6,000 meters, Ecuador has one of the richest floras and faunas in the world. Ecuador hosts nearly 2,000 species of freshwater fish, 680 species of amphibians and reptiles, 1,435 species of birds, and about 230 species of mammals. There are nearly 20,000 species of flowering plants, and tens of thousands of insects. Terrestrial habitats include deserts, coastal dry forests, savannas, montane forests, alpine tundra, alpine meadows, montane wet forests, and lowland rainforests. Aquatic habitats include vast meandering rivers, isolated oxbow lakes, mountain streams and lakes, coastal wetlands, and salt marshes.