ARIE: Amazon Research Initiative for Educators

Registration for ARIE 2024 is closed.

Introduction to Tropical Ecology Field Research

For educators ready for a deep dive into field research and biodiversity monitoring

Join Morpho research scientists and faculty to dig deep into how biodiversity responds to a changing world. During this field research crash course, you will monitor tropical biodiversity, design research questions and contribute to long-term Morpho Institute research initiatives. Be part of the team that defines the future of teacher research in the Amazon with the Morpho Institute! 

Arie 23 Plot Set up_Christa

ARIE Dates

JULY 11-20, 2024*


Peruvian Amazon

Group Size

20 participants


  • $825 Morpho Institute Program Fee
  • $2425 land costs payable to our travel partner, EcoTeach


You will arrange your own flights to Iquitos, Peru.  Flight costs not included in fees above. 

*Participants should plan on arriving in Iquitos, Peru on July 11 and departing late afternoon/evening on July 20, with arrival back to the US on July 21. 

ARIE Details

ARIE 23 Plot data collection_Christa

Program Theme

Biodiversity in a changing worldAn investigation through time and space 

Program Overview

The Amazon Research Initiative for Educators (ARIE) is a professional development research experience for elementary, middle and high school teachers 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.

Summary of Fees

The cost for the ARIE program is $3250. This does not include international airfare from the US to Iquitos, Peru. This fee consists of two parts: ● $825 Morpho Institute Program Fee which includes program administration fees, program resource kit, online pre-departure coursework and webinars, access to private online network for program participants, and donations to support our indigenous community partners in the Amazon. ● $2425 in-country land costs cover in-country ground transportation, room, board, naturalist guides, and entrance or activity fees specifically outlined in the Morpho Institute's ARIE Itinerary. Travel is coordinated by EcoTeach and all travel-related costs must be paid directly to EcoTeach after you have officially registered with The Morpho Institute and are subject to EcoTeach's cancellation policies.

Field Reports

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