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  • Locations: Quito, Ecuador
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: UW-Whitewater applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2023 03/15/2023 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Program Description:
UW-Madison CEIBA Conservation GIS in the Tropics

Bird in Quito


CEIBA Overview:
Apply GIS (Geographic Information System) skills to real-world conservation problems in Ecuador, South America through this hands-on field experience. At a remote biological station set in a tropical coastal forest, you will practice a variety of applications of GIS in conservation, participate in data collection and analysis phases of ongoing research programs, and apply your skills in a small-group conservation GIS project in collaboration with the Ceiba Foundation that fills the needs of local Ecuadorian organizations and communities.

The program overall totals four weeks, beginning with two weeks of online instruction followed by a two-week field expedition to Ecuador. The Ceiba Conservation GIS in the Tropics program allows you to implement basic and advanced projects in QGIS, a leading software platform in the field. This training will largely take place in an intensive, online learning format. The field component in Ecuador will provide hands-on practice complementing the online learning, with field activities in tropical habitats combined with computer work on-site.

GIS has grown increasingly important in environmental management and conservation, as well as urban and regional planning, biology, geography, environmental studies, civil engineering, wildlife ecology, zoology, agronomy, botany, forestry, landscape architecture, and soil science, just to name a few major areas where this course would give you marketable career skills.

The Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation is a non-profit organization offering field courses taught by highly experienced and knowledgeable staff. Their field courses provide quality education while taking you to some of the most remote and pristine ecosystems left on earth.

General Info:
  • Sophomore, Junior, Senior
  • 2.75 cumulative GPA
  • Some Spanish language skills preferred but not required.
  • Open to UW-Madison degree seeking students and all degree-seeking undergraduate students at a US college or university. Preference is given to UW-Madison students
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing
Program Structure:
Geography; GIS

Classroom Language

Field Research Station

Program Duration
Summer: Mid-July - Early August
2019 Dates: July 15 - August 11
July 15-26 (Online)
July 29-August 11 (Ecuador)

Application Deadline(s)
Summer 2019 3/1/2019

Cost Details:
IAP Program Fees

Wisconsin Residents $3,600.00
MN Reciprocity $3,800.00
Non-Residents $3,950.00

The UW Program Fee is a fixed cost including academic expenses, administrative costs, mandatory health insurance, housing, three meals per day, in-country travel and program excursions. 

Estimated Additional Expenses
The following are estimated expenses to help plan and prepare for the program. These amounts are subject to change depending on international economic factors and past participant reports. Student expenditures in-country depend greatly on personal spending habits, post-or during-program travel, and available funds.

Airfare $800.00
Personal/Miscellaneous $700.00
Total Estimated Additional Expenses $1,500.00

Airfare is an estimate based on a round-trip fare from Chicago-Quito-Chicago including departure taxes. Personal miscellaneous estimates include daily living expenses, spending money, reasonable travel, and pre-departure costs.Total Cost of Attendance

Wisconsin Residents $5,100.00
MN Reciprocity $5,300.00
Non-Residents $5,450.00

International Academic Programs (IAP) reserves the right to adjust the fees and expenses at any time. During the course of Program operations, actual figures may vary.