The University of Toronto will offer one course in Ecuador, worth one full-year credit. The course has limited space and is contingent on adequate enrolment. Students will be in classes or on field trips every day, including weekends, except for travel days and some (minimal) free time during the program. Where possible, students will be involved in group research projects. 


ENV395Y0 Special Topics Field Course: Ecology and Conservation in the Amazon, Andes and Cloud Forest

This course examines fundamental concepts in ecology, evolution, biodiversity, geology and conservation biology through lectures and fieldwork in the highland, montane, and tropical ecosystems in Ecuador. The complex relations between these environments and the people who depend on them will also be examined through analysis of the social, cultural, and economic transformations that have taken place in recent years. Suitable for all School of the Environment programs.

Prerequisites: none

Recommended preparation: ENV200H1 or equivalent, BIO120H or equivalent


2022 Final Course Outline 



Professor Barbara Murck is Professor, Teaching Stream, at the Department of Geography, University of Toronto Mississauga. A geologist by training, she completed her undergraduate degree at Princeton University and her graduate degree at the University of Toronto.  Prof. Murck is the author of many textbooks on geology and environmental science.  She is an award-winning lecturer, and was the recipient of the President’s Teaching Award in 2010.  Prof. Murck has been involved with many international development projects in environmental management, from Niger, Ivory Coast, and Sudan to China, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

Christoph Richter is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Department of Biology at University of Toronto Mississauga. Working on a M.Sc. at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a PhD at Otago University in New Zealand, his research focused on the influence of human activities on the behaviour of cetaceans. Currently, he is involved in research on the ecological impact of invasive species around Mississauga and on the Galápagos Islands, on the impact and prevalence of transformative learning, and on relationship between stress and incidences of plagiarism . He has taught field courses in the Bay of Fundy, Gulf of Maine, and Ecuador, and has been a study leader on cruises to the Arctic, Haida Gwaii and the Antarctic.