The SIT: Ecuador Comparative Ecology and Conservation program allows Whitman students with an interest in environmental studies and biology an opportunity to study in Quito, Ecuador. This program affords students the opportunity to study various ecosystems and to learn of conservation issues affecting those systems. Students on this program will participate in educational excursions to the Galápagos Islands, the highland Andes, the Amazon rainforest, and the cloud forest, as well as complete a month-long Independent Study Project.

Fields of study:

Intensive Spanish, comparative ecology, conservation, and environmental studies courses


Minimum cumulative gpa of 2.8 (Whitman requirement); previous college-level coursework in environmental studies, biology, or ecology.  BIO 112 is recommended.

Language Prerequisite:

Four recent semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent and the ability to follow coursework in Spanish;

Semesters Offered:

Fall or Spring Semester (single semester only)


August-December; January-May


16 credits per semester - Required Courses:
Intensive Spanish Language for the Natural Sciences (3 credits)
Comparative Tropical Ecology (3 credits)
Conservation and Sustainability Practices in Ecuador (3 credits)
Environmental Research Methods and Ethics (3 credits)
Independent Study Project (4 credits)

Credit Conversion:

1 SIT credit = 1 Whitman credit


Six-week homestay in Quito, 3-4 day homestays in rural cloud forest and on the Galápagos.  Also hostels, field camps, reserve lodges, and boats.


During the homestay, students take meals with their host families. During the other periods, students are either provided with meals or given a stipend so that they may purchase their meals.




Rolling admission, students are encouraged to apply early.


SIT Study Abroad Scholarships

Program Links:

SIT Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation