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UNT Faculty Led: Tracing Darwin's Path - Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve in Chile (PHIL/BIOL)
Cape Horn, Chile; Puerto Williams, Chile; Punta Arenas, Chile (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Wintermester
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: UNT applicants only
Program Cost: Wintermester
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fields of Study:
Biological Sciences, Ecology, Philosophy
Minimum GPA Requirement:
Program Type:
Faculty Led
UNT Faculty Leader(s):
Michael Thompson (, Ricardo Rozzi (
Faculty Led Program Term:
Language of Instruction:
Housing Options:
UGRAD Credit Hours:
3 UNT hours
GRAD Credit Hours:
3 UNT hours
Program Contact in SAO:
Ms. Kathryn Conrad (
Program Description:

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Quick Facts

  • Winter Abroad in Chile
  • Study Biology or Philosophy with Dr. Michael Thompson and Dr. Ricardo Rozzi 
  • Undergraduate and Graduate levels available
  • Depart US for Santiago on December 26th, 2019
  • Program starts December 27th, 2019
  • Program Ends - Depart for US January 11th, 2020
  • Open to all majors


The goals of the course are to provide students with an interdisciplinary research, conservation and education experience at one of the most pristine wilderness areas remaining in the world. The course will explore ways of defining, studying, communicating, and conserving biocultural diversity. These goals will be achieved by exposing students to a first-hand experience in the Omora Ethnobotanical Park (OEP), a long-term ecological study site that serves to link society and development with biodiversity, history and ecosystems in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (CHBR).


  • Earn 3 UNT credits while abroad 
  • Undergraduate and Graduate courses offered
  • BIOL 4054/5054 or PHIL 4054/6781 taught by Dr. Dr. Michael Thompson and Dr. Riccardo Rozzi
  • Minimum 2.25 GPA
  • Pre-requisites: None 

Location Students

The Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (Cabo de Hornos Biosphere Reserve or CHBR)  is located in the extreme south of Chile and comprises marine areas, islands, fjords, channels, forests and moorland. Program Leader, Dr. Rozzi has played a key role in the preparation of the proposal to UNESCO to designate the CHBR.  In addition to hosting the world's southernmost forested ecosystems and culture (the Yahgans), the Cape Horn Archipelago also protects 5% of the world's bryophyte diversity (mosses and liverworts). 

The OEP is located 3 kilometers west of Puerto Williams on the north coast of Isla Navarino.  Within the park interpretative paths explore most of the major habitat types of the region: coastal coigue forests, lenga forests, ñirre forests, peat bogs, invasive beaver wetlands and alpine heath. The Omora Park aspires to be a natural laboratory to study the role of humans in the environment, an outdoor classroom for students and teachers of all ages, and a public space to experience the many ways of living together based on solidarity and respect between human beings and other biological species.

Punta Arenas is located in the extreme south of Chile.  Punta Arenas (literally in Spanish: "Sands Point" or "Sandy Point") is the largest settlement on the Strait of Magellan and the capital of Chile's Magallanes y Antártica Region.  Several penguin colonies are located near Punta Arenas, where hundreds of Magellanic Penguins arrive home to breed at their birthplace each spring.

Housing, Meals, and Internet Access 

The Cape Horn Field Station is administrated by the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, a research, education, and conservation program coordinated by UNT in the U.S., and the University of Magallanes and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity in Chile. The Field Station facility includes space to host up to 24 students and faculty with a kitchen, a basic laboratory for processing and storing samples, as well as library and classroom facilities. The station offers panoramic views of Puerto Williams, the Beagle Channel and the Cordillera Darwin.

Meals are served family style at the Field Station. The meals are pre-planned ahead of time and tend to be based on meats, starchy vegetables and breads. Students that require a vegetarian or vegan diet will have repetitive meals while on the program. Students with dietary concerns should contact to learn more about the ability of the program to accommodate special diets such as vegan, etc. 

Internet access and connections are few and very unreliable even when available. However, there are several local cafes where students can access an internet connection.

Passport and Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to obtain a passport and determine whether a visa is necessary for travel to any countries visited while traveling to and during this program. Limited information may be provided by the UNT Study Abroad Office, your Faculty Leader(s), and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Withdrawal Policy.

  • If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the UNT U.S. Passport Acceptance Office
  • SAO recommends traveling on a passport that will remain valid for at least six months after the program return date; for this program, passports should be valid through July 11, 2020.
  • General visa information
  • Visa information specific to Chile
  • Visa requirements for non-U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; non-U.S. citizens are advised to contact their Study Abroad Advisor and begin independently researching the visa requirements as soon as possible

AccessibilityTDP hiking 2017-2018

Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation in one or more of this program’s locations very different from what you find in the United States. Although UNT cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites, students with disabilities can and do study abroad. Upon request, the UNT Study Abroad Office can provide information about the availability of accommodations and accessible facilities on the specific program and can help you determine whether this program can meet your accommodation needs.

The final destination for this program is Puerto Williams, which is two (2) short plane rides from Santiago, Chile.  The smallest plane allows only 22 pounds (10kg) of baggage per person.

Participants need to be physically capable to hike for up to 4 hours, uphill on a non-paved, uneven, rocky, muddy terrain, and maneuver over fallen trees carrying a 25-30 pound hiking backpack and able to camp overnight for 3-4 nights in cold, inclement weather in a wilderness environment. Participants must be able to climb up to 2 flights of stairs. The UNT-UMAG Field Station where indoor classes and family-style meals will be held is a three-story building without an elevator. At this time, the program may not be able to accept students with some disabilities. Students should inquire on a case-by-case basis prior to enrollment. Reasonable accommodations will be made, if possible. Applicants should be aware that due to the remote location, standards for reasonable accommodations may differ from U.S. standards.

As the program is offered on an island, the location is remote and somewhat isolated. The meals are pre-planned months ahead of the program and tend to be be heavily based on meats, starches and breads. Fish and shellfish is limited in availability, so students requesting a pescatarian option will be provided with vegetarian options when fish is not available. A supply boat comes in once a week with fresh vegetables and fruits that students can purchase to supplement the meals provided by the program.  Students with dietary concerns should contact to learn more about the ability of the program to accommodate special diets such as vegan, etc.


$100 Application Fee - Due no later than October 1, 2019. Payable as part of the study abroad application process. Non-refundable. If the program is cancelled, the application fee will be returned.

$500 Faculty Led Program Deposit - Due no later than October 15, 2019. Payable as part of the study abroad application process. Non-refundable. The payment of the deposit is what secures a student's participation in the program and what authorizes UNT to make financial arrangements on his/her behalf. If the program is cancelled, the deposit will be returned. 

Faculty Led Program Fee - Due no later than December 2, 2019. Payable via MyUNT to cover programmatic arrangements such as lodging, meals, cultural activities, etc.  Once publicly listed on this webpage, the advertised program charge will not change. 
The program fee for this program covers:

  • Lodging
  • Included meals
  • Excursions
  • Transportation for program activities abroad
  • UNT Health and Accident Insurance
  • Study Abroad Administrative Service

UNT Tuition and Fees – Due no later than December 13, 2019 (TBC). Payable via MyUNT at your regular tuition rate.

View BUDGET SHEET for detailed cost breakdown.


Students are responsible for booking their own flights to and from the program location. Faculty leaders will provide specific arrival instructions for each group, and there may be a recommended group flight. DO NOT book flights prior to receiving notice that you have been accepted into the program, that the program has sufficient enrollment to run, and the arrival and departure instructions for your group!


Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your Study Abroad Advisor for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program budget sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Study Abroad 101.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Meet with a Money Coach to better understand your financial aid package and develop your funding plan.

Unique Funding Opportunities for This Program

Applying to Study Abroad

Ready to start your study abroad journey? Learn the process. An "Apply" button will appear at the top of this page when the application period opens for this program. 


Faculty Leader

Dr. Michael Thompson
Senior Lecturer 
Philosophy & Religion
ENV 320E
Contact Regarding:
  • Academics
  • Syllabus
  • Itinerary
  • In-Country Experience

Faculty Co-Leader

Dr. Ricardo Rozzi
Philosophy and Religion, and Biological Sciences
ENV 310P
Contact Regarding:
  • Academics
  • Syllabus
  • Itinerary
  • In-Country Experience

Study Abroad Advisor

Kathryn Conrad
Faculty Led Programs Coordinator 
Study Abroad Office
Marquis Hall 145
Contact Regarding:
  • Applications
  • Payments
  • Funding Resources

Links to Additional Resources

This program is currently not accepting applications.