PILOT: Amazon Research Initiative for Educators

Program Details


July 11-21, 2023

Amazon Research Initiative Fees
  • $625 Morpho Institute Program Fee
  • $2370 land costs payable to our travel partner, EcoTeach

Peruvian Amazon


You will arrange your own flight. Estimated cost: $1200-1700 roundtrip USA to Iquitos Peru

Program Theme:  Biodiversity in a changing world - An investigation through time and space 

Program Syllabus:  Download PDF

Program Overview

The Amazon Research Initiative for Educators (ARIE) is a 10-day professional development research experience for K12 teachers based in the Amazon rainforest of Peru. During this research experience, teachers will examine the broad theme of “Biodiversity in the Changing World through Time and Space” by participating in Morpho Institute’s ongoing research projects. Teachers will learn key scientific methodologies, such as plant phenology monitoring, animal behavior observations, citizen science protocols, basic statistical analysis, and science communication. Teachers will contribute to the long-term data sets of the Morpho Institute, which will be used to monitor the changes to biodiversity and be available to teachers to use in their classrooms. Teachers will work closely with Morpho Institute faculty to investigate research questions in the amazon. Additionally, teachers will have the opportunity to connect inquiry, Morpho’s research projects, and their research interests to their classrooms in curriculum connection brainstorming sessions.

Program goals include:  

  1. Engage teachers in active research projects to increase understanding of science as a process and inspire the use of inquiry-based lessons in their classrooms.
  2. Enhance teachers’ science literacy through personal experience with scientific thinking, research design, and excitement of discovery.
  3. Introduce teachers to key research methodologies for monitoring ecological systems in a changing planet in the Amazon and ecological communities in the US.
  4. Develop ecological databases that can be used to monitor and protect the sustainable use of the Amazon, and connect K12 students in comparative research projects in their classes.
  5. Develop learning communities of teachers and researchers to provide inspiration, connection, and resources for inquiry-based learning in the K12 classroom.
  6. Examine ways of communicating science to students, teachers, researchers, and the general public.
  7. Develop inquiry-based curriculums that connect K12 US students with the scientific process and understanding of local and global environmental issues and inspire a broad diversity of students to consider higher education and careers in STEM.

I left the Amazon with a deep sense of being a global citizen and am grateful for the reminder of the similarities we share with humans around the globe. I feel challenged to make conscious choices that preserve our earth and fellow humans.  I have been inspired to help my students experience a sense of place in our home. At the most basic level, I was reminded how powerful an experience can be, and this has rejuvenated my passion for facilitating experiences for our students.” 

– Laura Lawrence, Asheville School, NC 

“This has been the best professional development program I have ever participated in.  With quality staff presentations, shared experiences, hands-on activities, long term online resources, and the camaraderie of our group members, I am confident I will be able to share what I have learned with my students. Further more I feel that I have what I need to continue to learn.”

– Phil Kahler, Tualatin Valley Academy, Forest Grove, OR

"My head is still spinning from my trip to the Peruvian Amazon! So many take-home lessons! I got an up-close look at what conservation looks like today, in real time; was immersed in a beautiful culture very different from my own; gained more tools for my toolbox to use in teaching my students (such as the use of participatory mapping, scientific modeling, etc.); and had an incredible shared experience with passionate, talented educators and students from other independent schools. My hope is that hundreds of more educators and students can experience this for themselves!"

- Mike Hill, PhD, Asheville School, NC

Need More Information?

The Morpho Institute professional development field workshops are produced by a team of committed people who work together to make this a life experience for every traveler.

With questions about the educational program, syllabus, and experience in Peru contact:
Christa Dillabaugh, Director, The Morpho Institute
Email or Phone:  (913) 214-6126