Brazil: Amazon Resource Management and Human Ecology

Explore natural resource management and human ecology in diverse settings across the Amazon River Basin.

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Covering an area roughly the size of Australia, the Amazon River Basin—a highly complex and delicately balanced ecosystem—contains the world’s largest tropical forest, its second-longest river, and an extraordinary diversity of plant and animal life.

Gain direct experience with Amazon River Basin ecosystems, communities, and land-use systems.
The SIT Amazon program provides firsthand insights into resource management and human ecology in the Amazon River Basin, through site visits to rainforest villages, research laboratories, extractive industry sites, and archaeological sites. Students take extended excursions to different areas of the Amazon including west and southern Pará, pristine areas, and areas of extensive logging and land degradation.

Coursework looks at problems of sustainability from different vantage points, including large-scale development projects (mining, hydroelectric dams, roads, agribusiness) and small familial agriculture.

Examine the principal ecological characteristics of the Amazon. Spend time with communities that live there.
Students interact with and learn from members of diverse populations—such as ribeirinho, colono, and quilombo communities—and different social organizations including the Landless People’s Movement, the largest direct-action social movement in Latin America.

The MST settlement in Parauapebas

Lecturers are drawn from local institutions and organizations in Belém, Manaus, Santarém, and other program sites including:

  • Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPa)
  • Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisas Agropecuárias (EMBRAPA)
  • Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG)
  • Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA)
  • Instituto do Homem e do Meio Ambiente na Amazônia (Imazon)
  • Fundação Xingú Vivo
  • The Brazil Landless Workers Movement (MST)

The program center is in Belém, located at the delta of the Amazon, and one of the principal centers for Amazonian research.

Nearly one-third of the program involves excursions to different areas of the Amazon River Basin region.

    Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

    Joshua Carrera Congratulations to SIT Study Abroad alum Joshua Carrera, who was recently featured on the cover of The Nature Conservancy magazine. Joshua studied abroad on the Brazil: Amazon Resource Management and Human Ecology program in the spring of 2011, bolstering an impressive record of accomplishments.

    “The program took us to the heart of natural resource management issues in the Amazon, offering us different perspectives on complex issues.”

    Read more about Joshua’s experience studying abroad in Brazil and how the program fit into his studies and long-term interests.

    Costs Dates

    Credits: 16

    Duration: 15 weeks

    Program Base: Belem

    Language Study: Portuguese

    Prerequisites: Previous college-level coursework and/or other preparation in environmental studies, ecology, development studies, or other related fields is strongly recommended but not required. Although there is no language prerequisite, a background in Portugues Read more...


    View Student Evaluations for this program:

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

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