Fostering learning collaborations between the academy and traditional Amazonian knowledge.


Iyarina is a research station in the Ecuadorian Amazon with primary strengths in the Humanities and secondary strengths in the Life Sciences.  It is located in a Kichwa speaking community on the South bank of the Río Napo with extension campuses on the Río Nushino and Curaray in the nearby Waorani territory.  For over 20 years it has been home to  the Andes and Amazon Field School.  Each summer we bring together indigenous knowledge carriers, students, and faculty for 8 weeks of learning and research in the Andes and Amazon Field School.  Collaborative research projects are carried out throughout the year.  Together we seek to better understand the culture of the region and to find practical solutions for a sustainable future.  The Andes and Amazon Field School is jointly sponsored by Title VI National Resource Centers at the University of Wisconsin Madison, the University of Pittsburgh, Florida International University, and Brigham Young University. 



We provide a comfortable environment and logistical support year around for faculty research projects in Amazonian Linguistics, Cultural Anthropology, the Arts and Life Sciences.  Our greatest strength lies in facilitating collaborative research with indigenous communities.   For example, we may partner with a life sciences project to provide an indigenous knowledge component or provide logistical support for managing the project in an indigenous community.  Recent projects include:

The Amazonian Social Relation to Nature: A Variable Pathways Digital Resource. CO-PIs Tod Swans and Janis Nuckolls.   Arizona Institute for Humanities Research. 2020-21  $15,000.


“Historical Ecology of Waorani Ridgetops, Ecuadorian Amazon”  National Geographic.  Co-PI with William Baleé, Tulane University.  Co_PIs William Balée and Tod Swanson.  Funded: 2019-2020. $28,125 


“Language for Sustainability: Sustaining Biodiversity and Bio-cultures through Indigenous Languages and Participatory Science.”  July, 2018-July, 2019. Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes.  Co-PIs David Manuel Navarrete and Tod Swanson.


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We offer graduate level intensive language courses in Amazonian Kichwa, Wao Tedero, and Achuar.  These courses are funded by FLAS Fellowships (Foreign Language and Area Studies) from the US Department of Education.  Each summer 12-15 graduate FLAS Fellows attend the Field School.  More that 200 Fellows from more than 40 universities have attended to date.  More than just language however, we seek to give our graduate students the linguistic and cultural skills they need to do cutting edge research with indigenous communities.  This includes logistical support for graduate thesis research, mentoring, networking, assistance in obtaining funding and jobs is their fields.  Sitting around the fire with each other, faculty, and indigenous colleagues they develop enduring friendships. These relationships allow them to serve as living bridges between the academic and indigenous worlds over a lifetime.   Many alumni become influencers who not only carry out collaborative projects in the Amazon but also help others to see the critical importance of Amazonian culture and to invest in it accordingly.   



We host undergraduate study abroad  programs from several universities, including University of Pittsburgh and Brigham Young University for Summer 2022.   The Pittsburgh courses are open to students from any university.  To apply online see Pitt in Ecuador June Session, Pitt in Ecuador July Session, or Pitt in Ecuador Both Sessions.   These courses immerse undergraduates in Amazonian Environment and Culture in ways that are life changing for many.



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