Exploring Patagonia

ERM 499C: Exploring Patagonia is an embedded course traveling to Santiago, Chile and the Patagonia region in South America during winter break 2017-2018.

Course Name

ERM 499C: Exploring Patagonia- Natural Resources and Conservation, College of Agricultural Sciences- Environment Resource Management

About the Course

ERM 499C is an “embedded” course, meaning that a travel component has been “embedded into the course curriculum.” This course focuses on natural resources, climate, and sustainability. Students will also cover other topics including water quality, air quality, and coastal ecosystems. All Penn State students are welcome to participate.

Students will complete 1 credit of the course in the fall where professors at Penn State, that are experts in these areas, guest lecture to prepare students for their learning that will take place in Chile. South America While in-country students will explore the culture of Chile and explore the vast region of Patagonia. The time in country, as well as lectures and other assignments competed at Penn State will total an earned 3 credits.

About travel to Patagonia

Students will first travel to Chile’s capital Santiago. After spending time in the city, students will fly south to the Patagonia region. The Patagonia region is in the southernmost portion of South America and spans both Chile and Argentina. This trip will be focused on the western side of Patagonia with students traveling around different areas of Chile.

Travel will take place over winter break from December 26, 2017 through January 7, 2018. The trip will begin with time exploring the city of Santiago, Chile taking time to become acclimated to the area. Students will learn about and participate in activities related to air quality, water quality, and climate change in addition to visiting the coastal town of Valparaiso. Within the city of Santiago, students will have the opportunity to visit local parks, take in beautiful views from above the city, and experience the history and art of Chilean culture. From there, students will travel south to the Patagonia region of Chile. Here, students will have an opportunity to explore the untouched beauty of the Chile. They will also visit the Valdivian Coastal Reserve that has partnered with the Nature Conservancy on many environmental projects.

Why Should I Participate?

Students will earn a Communications Selection for the ERM major, an INTAG minor course, experience with international travel, and learn about Patagonia’s Natural Resources; the course is also designated as an IL on the degree audit.  The time in South America, including lectures and assignments upon return will total an earned 2 credits.  An additional pre-requisite fall 2017 course is worth 1 credit.

Patagonia is a great place to experience another culture, while learning about something within your area of study. This trip involves significant adventure components while exploring the untouched and pristine ecosystem of Patagonia.

How do I sign up?

Interested students should email Tammy Shannon, Academic Advising Coordinator and Course Instructor, Environmental Resource Management at: Decisions for the 2017 - 2018 course need to be made as soon as possible to complete application and enter in the class.

Estimated Cost

Estimated Cost (based on 18 students): ~$5,900

  • Airfare: ~$2,700
  • Trip: ~$3,200

This cost includes: the travel to and from the Chile, around the country, accommodations and most meals. The final total cost is dependent on amount of students signed up. Students will need approximately $250 in spending money to cover the cost of extra meals and possible excursions.

Payment deadlines TBA.


  • Student from all colleges and majors at Penn State University are eligible to enroll.
  • Students must be 18 years of age at the time of travel.
  • Student participants must present a valid passport. Students who do not present a passport will not be permitted to travel.
  • Student participants must have the ability to travel internationally. Accommodations for special circumstances will be made whenever possible.
  • All payments must be made on time. Students who do not meet the deadlines will not be permitted to travel.

More Information

Tammy Shannon: