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Ohio University  >  Global Affairs and International Studies  >  Office of Global Opportunities  >  Programs  >  Ecuador: Tropical Plant Diversity in Ecuador

Ecuador: Tropical Plant Diversity in Ecuador

Students getting on canoes



Winter Break Program (alternate years)

The Department of Environmental and Plant Biology at Ohio University offers a unique two-week field-course in Ecuador. Students spend six days at Yasuni Research Station, where they focus on studies of plant diversity in the evergreen lowland forests. The group also make a day-trip to the small village of Papallacta, located at an altitude of over 10,000 ft. Here students have an opportunity to explore plant diversities studies at various elevations and visit the thermal springs that are part of the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve. During a two and half day visit to the higher elevations around Mindo, students explore the cloud forest vegetation, visit a butterfly garden and participate in a tree canopy walk. Other mini-excursions and tours include visits to markets, a tour of the city of Quito, and a trip to the Center for Research on Health in Latin America at Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador with presentations on tropical plant and animal bioprospecting.

Program Dates

Winter Break, December 28, 2018 – January 11, 2019 
The program runs alternate years



Eligibility and Selection Process

PBIO 1150 (Plant Structure) or its equivalent is required; PBIO 3190 (Ohio Flora) or another advanced plant diversity course is strongly recommended [BIOS majors with PBIO 3190 do not need PBIO 1150]. Students should have a 2.5 or better GPA. Students with 2.2 GPA or above may be considered. Preferences will be given first to junior and senior PBIO undergraduate students with strong taxonomic background. Completion of the mandatory pre-departure meetings during fall semester is required.



Students who will be on probation at any point during the program for a conduct offense that took place less than a calendar year from the program start date may not study abroad.  Click here to read the entire conduct policy.


This program does not accept Non-Ohio University students.


Good to Know

This program travels to remote areas where phone reception and wifi is limited, including on New Year's Eve. The program includes moderate hiking, so students should be in reasonably fit condition. Some areas lack access for participants with disabilities. Participants will spend most time outdoors and should bring and wear good hiking shoes at higher elevations and knee-high rubber boots in the Amazon basin. Pack bug spray, sun screen, and a long-billed hat. Long pants are recommended. No open-toed shoes, except in cities.


Application Deadline

Deadline: May 1, 2018


Living Arrangements

At the Yasuni Research Station, the group will stay in the field station’s accommodations. In other locations, the group will stay in local hotels.


Courses and Credits

  • PBIO 4090: Plant Systematics and Survey of Vascular Plant Families, 4 credits



Undergraduate Student Budget Worksheet, 2018-2019


Find out about scholarships, using your financial aid and more for this program


Non-resident surcharge waived for this program.


Additional Information on Ecuador

To learn more about this study abroad destination, please visit the  CIA World Factbook


Health and safety 

Ohio University Office of Global Opportunities suggests you follow the  recommendations  of the Centers for Disease Control for healthy travel to your destination. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program.

Refer to the  State Department site  for information related to safety and security at this destination.

Also refer to  International SOS  for information related to safety and security at this destination. To log in to the International SOS website, please use the OHIO membership IS: 11BCAS000010.


Requesting accommodation for disabilities

If you plan to participate in an Ohio University-sponsored study abroad program and wish to request accommodation, you should contact the  Office of Student Accessibility Services  to schedule an appointment to complete an  Global Opportunities Disability Accommodation Request Form . We recommend you do this as early as possible to allow sufficient time to determine what accommodations may be made for this program.


Entry and exit requirements

U.S. citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport when traveling outside of the United States. If you plan to study or travel abroad in the next year,  apply for your passport  now. 

Some countries also require a visa to legally enter and reside in the country. US citizens not need   a visa to enter the country for the length of this  program. Full details on entry and exit requirements for this country can be found  here. Please also note that visa requirements may vary if you plan to stay in the country longer than the program dates or travel to other countries during or after the program. Please familiarize yourself with these recommendations and requirements prior to applying to a program.

For more specific visa related information please visit OGO's  Visa Information Page

Information for Non-US citizens can be found  here.  

For more information, contact :


Dr. Harvey Ballard
Department of Environmental and Plant Biology 
Faculty Director

Kirsten Dabelko
Global Opportunities
Senior Program Coordinator







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