Stuart White teaches a Travel/Study course for UVM.

Ecuador: Reading Grass Paramo- The High Andes Underfoot

This course visits three spectacular mountainous national parks in Ecuador. What unifies our experience in these parks is páramo, a high-elevation savanna. Páramo covers extensive areas of the tropical Andes in an altitudinal belt between the tree line and the snowline, and is one of the highest plant communities in the world.  Despite its remoteness and wilderness aspect, evidence suggests that the development of grass páramo was driven by late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers. We focus on páramo ecology, including human impacts following deglaciation 15,000 years ago.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Pre-Columbian Andes resource management, Mountain farming systems, Wildland conservation in the context of agricultural societies, Páramo and puna biogeography, South American camelids, especially the alpaca.


Office Location:

Mazar Wildlife Reserve Apartado 01-01-1987 Cuenca, Ecuador