Climate Change in the Andes

Program Dates: July 7, 2023 - July 23, 2023

This intensive program introduces students to climate change impacts in the Andes through direct field experience and research activities, readings, discussions, and meetings with local experts. Field excursions to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, upper Amazon cloud forest, and a five-day trek in the Cordillera Vilcanota (with strenuous ascents to 17,000 ft) will provide an outstanding setting for investigation of the impacts of climate change on tropical glaciers, ecosystems, water resources, and local communities. All student participants will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of climate change and its impacts in the Andes Mountains through assigned readings, field data collection and reports, a journal, response papers, and a final exam. The program offers two required courses that will focus on the tropical Andes Mountains of Peru: GHY 2300 – Mountain Environments & People and GHY 3600 – Snow & Ice.  

The Sacred Valley and Cordillera Vilcanota in southern Peru offer a fantastic opportunity to learn about climate change, glaciers, and water resources, while also offering the possibility to develop closer ties to local  communities. 

To learn more about this program, please reference the following articles:



Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the south and west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon River. Peru has a population of 32 million, and its capital and largest city is Lima. Peru has a population that includes Mestizos, Amerindians, Europeans, Africans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechuan languages, Aymara, or other Indigenous languages. This mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine, literature, and music. (Source: Wikipedia.)



All program participants will be enrolled in the course below. There is the option to take the course at a graduate level per faculty leader permission.

Course Prefix

Course Name



GHY 2300

Mountain Environments & People


Baker Perry

GHY 3600

Snow & Ice


Song Shu


Faculty Leader

Dr. Baker Perry
Department of Geography and Planning

Program Director Dr. Perry has spent approximately 5 years in the Andes Mountains, primarily in Bolivia and Peru. He has led or co-led 15 short-term study abroad courses to Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador while  at Appalachian and has led or co-led 21 scientific research expeditions in the region. Perry and local  collaborators also operate one of the highest weather stations in the world on nearby Nevado Ausangate and data from this station will be integrated into course activities. 


Program Cost: $5,250

Program cost includes airfare, meals, lodging, in-country transportation. 

Estimated Additional Expenses


Tuition - Resident

$152.54 / credit hour

Tuition - Non-Resident

$172.54 / credit hour

Personal Expenses




Please note that non-billable costs are estimates only and will be affected by personal spending habits, currency fluctuations, etc. Prices listed in USD unless otherwise noted. Students are encouraged to start planning for their study abroad program costs well in advance. 


Payment Schedule





 Upon receipt of application

Payment 1



Payment 2 



Payment 3



Appalachian reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond the university's control.  Further details about Appalachian's withdrawal/cancellation policy can be found at this link.


Application Process

  1. In order to apply for this program, you will need to contact one of the program leaders and provide your Banner ID and email address. Program leaders may request additional information or a meeting to discuss the details of the program and your interest.
  2. When permission to apply for the program is granted, you will receive an email from your program leaders with a link to the application and further instructions.
  3. Your application will be considered complete when you have submitted it and paid the $300 deposit fee. The fee cannot be paid until it appears on your student account. Please note that it may take 2–3 business days for it to post to your account. You will receive an email with Instructions for paying the deposit fee. Instructions can also be found in the application.