Sustainability and Society is offered during the fall semester through Middlebury College's Global Partnerships for Sustainability initiative.

This program is designed for students who are curious about the multiple relationships between society, environment, and sustainability, and their implications for the future. Through this program, students will develop practical skills in education and scientific research, which they can use to solve critical problems related to the preservation of biodiversity and directly benefit local communities.

Students will develop a solid intellectual foundation through coursework at the Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia or the Universidad de la Frontera in Temuco. They will then apply their knowledge toward the end of the semester in a natural park or in a rural indigenous community.

Students will first engage in applied learning (two courses) and research in Valdivia or Temuco and the surrounding areas. A research project carried out during the semester will provide students with the skills and methodologies they will need to carry out their fieldwork, which will include data collection and processing. Research projects are defined based on the needs of the in-country researchers and host institutions. They will be carried out under the supervision of a faculty member and in collaboration with a Chilean undergraduate student, who will act as a cultural mentor. The last component of the track is an internship*, with a different focus in each of the two locations.

Sustainability Track in Temuco

The track is offered during the fall semester with the goal of providing students an opportunity to approach sustainability in the context of rural communities and the problems experienced by indigenous people in particular. Students will take two courses in the Department of Natural Resources at the Universidad de La Frontera, which will be complemented by a research project with a faculty member and an internship* with an organization working in the fields of environmental studies and indigenous issues.

Core Courses

  • Society, Environment, and Development
  • Participatory Methods and Conflict Resolution

Elective Courses at the Universidad de la Frontera in Temuco

First year:

  • Morfología y Fisiología Animal (Animal Morphology and Physiology)
  • Biodiversidad (Biodiversity)

Second year:

  • Economía Ambiental y de Recursos Naturales (Environmental and Natural Resource Economics)
  • Ecología (Ecology)
  • Flora y Vegetación (Flora and Vegetation)
  • Geomorfología y Suelos (Geomorphology and Soils)

Third year:

  • Modelación Ecológica (Ecological Modeling)
  • Inventario y Monitoreo de Recursos Naturales I (Natural Resources Inventory and Monitoring)
  • Recursos Hídricos (Water Resources)
  • Aplicaciones SIG y Percepción Remota (GIS and Remote Sensing Applications)
  • Metodologías Participativas y Resolución de Conflictos (Participatory Methodologies and Conflict Resolution)

Fourth year:

  • Sociedad, Ambiente y Desarrollo (Society, Environment, and Development)
  • Módulo de Política y Gestión Ambiental de Recursos Naturales (Natural Resource Policy Management)
  • Restauración de Ambientes Degradados (Restoration of Degraded Environments)
  • Transferencia en Educación Ambiental (Environmental Education Transfer)

Sustainability Track in Valdivia

The track is offered during the fall semester with the goal of supporting the development of the Karukinka Natural Park in Tierra del Fuego. Students engage in course work at the Universidad Austral de Chile, mainly in the Geology and Geography departments. They will then apply their knowledge through a practicum related to the Wildlife Conservation Society's efforts in Karukinka Natural Park.

This fieldwork experience will include data collection and processing. The last component of this track is an internship* in an organization working in the fields of environmental studies and sustainability.

Elective Courses at the Universidad Austral de Chile

First year:

  • Geology
  • Geology II

Second year:

  • Geomorphology
  • Terrain integrated in special geographic analysis
  • Remote sensors
  • Structural geology
  • Introduction to petrology
  • Remote sensors and GIS GRAL
  • Geochemistry

Third year:

  • Landscape ecology
  • Natural risks
  • Physical volcanology

Fourth year:

  • Evaluation of territorial projects
  • Territorial planification
  • Evaluation of environmental impact
  • Hydrogeology
  • Environmental geology
  • Environmental management

* Students interested in interning must verify that their home institutions will accept academic credit for an internship. General internship application procedures and deadlines will apply.