The mission of the Andes and Amazon Field School/Iyarina is to foster high quality interdisciplinary research and in-country education on the Ecuadorian Amazon in a safe and comfortable setting. Each summer we bring together a top group of academic and indigenous experts for 12 weeks of research and learning. Together with students we seek to interpret and preserve the culture and environment of the region and to find practical solutions for a sustainable future.
The strength of the Field School lies in fostering research collaborations between the academy and traditional Amazonian knowledge based on the social relation to nature. To prepare graduate students for work with indigenous communities we offer FLAS eligible indigenous language courses in the Kichwa, Achuar, and Wao Tededo languages. We also offer undergraduate courses in Tropical Ecology, Medical Anthropology, Sustainability, Amazonian Arts: Making & Meaning and, Amazonian Religion and Nature.
We welcome faculty from any college or university who would like to be a part of our team either by collaborating in research or by bringing students for a Study Abroad experience.
A parallel plank of our mission is to provide local green employment for our indigenous community as an alternative to extraction and migration. In the process we seek to preserve and adapt indigenous skills and cultural forms of work relations to a professional workplace carried out in the Kichwa language. This includes mentoring indigenous professionals, collaborating in the sponsoring of conferences featuring indigenous professionals and languages as well as and connecting indigenous talent to funded projects and all levels of administration. It is for this reason that we have an all indigenous staff.
The Andes and Amazon Field School is collaboratively sponsored by the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Florida International University, Brigham Young University and the University of Pittsburgh. It is located at the headwaters of the Rio Napo near Tena with extension campuses in the Waorani territory at Gomataon on the Río Nushino and Geyepade on the Río Curaray.