Maymester Brazil 2024

Exploring the Brazilian Biodiversity in the Amazon and Pantanal Ecosystems

EES/BSCI 3865: Field Investigations
(AXLE: MNS; Immersion: Experiential Learning Class)

Spend 2 weeks in the Brazilian Amazon and Pantanal, the most biodiverse regions of the World, and learn hands-on about Brazilian biodiversity and ecosystems, with Vanderbilt Prof. Malu Jorge, a Brazilian field ecologist, with more than 3 decades of experience on Brazilian biodiversity!

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Maymester Applications are NOW open!

Click here to start your application at GEO (deadline January 31)

GSF Scholarship Application is NOW open!

Apply for Financial Aid at GEO (deadline EXTENSION to January 15!!)

Important Dates!

  • Scholarship Application Deadline: 5pm, January 15, 2024
  • Maymester Application Deadline: 11:59pm, January 31, 2024
  • Maymester Acceptance Decisions: Rolling
  • Announce Scholarship Awards: February 6, 2024
  • Maymester Commitment/Withdrawal Deadline: February 15, 2024 (withdrawal made after this date will result in a fee)

Contact us
Prof. Malu Jorge
Michaela Peterson (TA)

Price: US$ 13,699
(includes tuition and all course related expenses for all 2 weeks)

Checkout this website for more information about wildlife sightseeing in the Pantanal vs. the Amazon!



We are currently amidst a global biodiversity and climate crisis, while demands for natural resources and lands continue to grow. Brazil is one of the world’s most biodiverse nations. It encompasses 90% of the Amazonian Rainforest and it is home to the World’s largest Tropical Wetland, the Pantanal. It is also a country of large social inequalities, and with an economy still based on the exploitation of natural resources and lands. In this course, students will take advantage of Prof. Jorge’s 20-year expertise on Brazilian biodiversity and environmental issues, and explore those questions while visiting Brazil’s Amazonian Rainforest and the Pantanal wetlands. Students will visit sustainable communities and ecotourism farms, experience and quantify Brazil’s incredible biodiversity, talk to stakeholders to learn about Brazil’s challenges and actions proposed and implemented to reconcile environmental preservation, social justice and economic development.

Learning objectives

  • Learn principles and simple methods of biodiversity research
  • Acquire very basic skills on GIS and statistics in R
  • Have hands-on experience about the biodiversity and challenges to preserve the Amazonian Rainforest and the Brazilian Pantanal.
  • Learn how locals live and benefit from natural ecosystems and their high biodiversity



The course will start on Monday, May 06, online. Students will receive a basic introduction to Ecology, ecological field methods, principles of GIS and data analysis in R. They will also have a basic introduction to the biodiversity of Brazilian ecosystems. On May 19, we will fly to Manaus (AM) on May 19, and start our journey into Brazilian ecosystems. We will first explore the Amazonian ecosystem (terrestrial and aquatic) between May 21-May 24. Students will apply some of the methods and knowledge learned in the online part of the course. On May 25, after exploring the Amazonian Rainforest, we will fly to Campo Grande (MS) and drive to Bonito (MS), where students will explore one Brazil’s most beautiful eco-touristic regions and have a free day to explore several activities. We will then drive to the Pantanal (MS), where we will conclude our course, with students learning about one of the World’s largest wetlands and where they will be able to see some of unique South America’s wildlife, such as armadillos, anteaters and capybaras.


Price: $13,699

What is included
2 weeks in Brazil
All accommodation from May 20 to May 30
All ground transportation
Air transportation between Manaus (AM) and Campo Grande (MS)
Most program meals (do not include meals during free days and road stops, when students purchase their own meals)
All activity fees and local guides
Emergency health and safety assistance

What is NOT included
2 first weeks in the US (virtual meetings)
Air ticket US-Brazil-US
Passport fees
Meals, activity fees and transportation in free days

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