Sustainability in Brazil


For University of Colorado student only. 

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainable Development in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests


Course Overview: Visit the world’s largest rainforest, meet rubber tappers and indigenous leaders, and learn how social-environmentalism takes root in tropical forest frontiers! In this two-week Spring 2019 Global Intensive course, students will explore real-life challenges—and solutions—around sustainable development in two of the world’s most endangered ecosystems—Brazil’s Amazon and Atlantic Forests. The course will focus on critical, timely approaches to environmental governance and climate change, livelihood development, cultural preservation, and more. It will also unite professors and students from law, environmental studies, engineering, and anthropology with students and professors in Brazil. We will have weekly one-hour long meetings on the CU campus in Spring 2019, and  two weeks in Brazil in May 2019, learning about sustainable development in tropical forest ecosystems first-hand.

The Details: Working in integrated teams, students will learn how to analyze socio-environmental challenges in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests from interdisciplinary perspectives that emphasize theory as well as practice. They will gain skills in evaluating and developing solutions to these challenges by learning from and interacting with diverse stakeholders in Brazil (including NGOs, communities, governments and the private sector) who will help to teach about the cultural, geographic, political and economic realities in Brazil.

Credit Hours: 3 upper division credit hours in ENVS 4100-5100


Part 1 – CU Boulder, Spring 2019

Credit Hours:1

Overview:Weekly sessions (often with our colleagues in Brazil via Skype) focusing on an introduction to Brazil, fieldwork methods, and the specific contexts of the Amazon and Atlantic Forests. This will also allow relationship-building with our peers in Acre and Bahia.


Part 2 – Acre, Brazil (located on the western border of Brazil, Bolivia, andPeru)

Credit Hours:1

Overview:Week-long immersion focusing on the town of Xapuri and the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve in collaboration with students and professors from the Federal University of Acre. We will meet with regional leaders of cooperatives, businesses, governmental agencies, and community organizations to explore the sustainable development challenges and conservation leadership in Brazil’s most conserved tropical forest region (Acre currently has 87% forest cover). Engineering students will spend the secondweek in Acre conducting an applied field project – other students will continue to Part 3.


Part 3 – Bahia, Brazil (located on the northeast coast of Brazil)

Credit Hours:1

Overview:Week-long immersion on the coastal Atlantic Forest in Bahia, Brazil to explore development, governance, and entrepreneurial challenges with students and professors from the State University of Santa Cruz. Students will work in teams to explore agroforestry, large-scale infrastructural development, micro-enterprise development, conservation, and culture in a biodiversity hotspot.


Languageof Instruction:English with Portuguese translation when needed.

Program Length and Dates: At CU Boulder: weekly Spring semester meetings; In Brazil: May 12thto May 27th(2 weeks)

Housing:Includes a combination of lodging in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve (Acre) and Serra do Conduru State Park (Bahia), as well as small hotels.

Areas of Study: Engineering, Environmental Studies, Anthropology, International Affairs, Portuguese, Law, Political Science, Geography, Spanish and Portuguese, and other related fields.

Costs: Visit the study abroad webpage for program costs and financial aid for resources and advice on the finances of education abroad

Scholarships:We encourage you to apply to any scholarships for which you are eligible.

Prerequisites and Eligibility: Selection will be competitive – students must have sophomore standing and minimum of a 2.5 GPA and a brief interview with one of the lead professors.

Deadline: January 15th

For more information contact:

or connect with Education Abroad! (Monday-Friday 9:00-4:30 C4C S355)