Program Structure

The Patagonian Research Experiences in Sustainability Science (PRESS) project provides NAU undergraduate and graduate students with an opportunity to study the interaction of social and ecological drivers and consequences of global environmental change in the Patagonia region of Argentina. Generously supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program, the PRESS project is designed for Junior undergraduate students or graduate students with strong skills in the Spanish language. Students will work with an Argentine mentor and NAU advisor for a 15- 20 week period beginning in January, which is mid-summer in Argentina. The research term for graduate students will end in April (15 weeks) and undergraduate students will end in May (20 weeks).

Students will be based in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city of the world. Students will conduct their research in the austral summer and fall. Students will conduct their research within three project themes, based on critical environmental issues for southern Patagonia: 1) Climate Change: Effects on Forests & Grasslands 2) Biotic Interactions: Invasive &Native Species Ecology & Management 3) Economic Development: Ecological Tourism & Protected Area Use


The PRESS program is designed for undergraduate students in the Global Science and Engineering Program (GSEP) and graduate students from the Masters in Climate Science & Solutions (CSS) and the Environmental Science & Policy Program (ESP). Any NAU undergraduate or graduate student is eligible to apply, however, preferred majors include: Biology, Environmental Science, Forestry, and Environmental Engineering. GSEP students must have completed at least two semesters of 300 level Spanish language courses and passed the “internship ready” language checkpoint with their Modern Language advisor. Graduate students must demonstrate some proficiency in Spanish, listing relevant coursework on their application and/or experience with the Spanish language.

 Program Elements

  • Preparation Course, fall semester preceding travel.
  • Orientation program, upon arrival in Ushuaia
  • International Research Experience, 15 – 20 weeks
  • Mid-Program Meeting in Ushuaia
  • Professional report and presentation, upon return to NAU campus
  • Publication


Students will receive a stipend of $5,250 for participation in PRESS, the same amount for both the 15 or 20 week research period.


Housing in Ushuaia will be provided as a part of the program in addition to lodging at all field sites that students may visit while collecting data for research projects. Although facilities vary at some locations, housing provided is generally dormitory style, with up to three students per room with private bath. Communal kitchen and dining facilities will allow students to purchase food and prepare their own meals in provided kitchen facilities.

Flight and Travel

Student travel expenses are included in the PRESS program. Travel expenses include an international flight from the US to Buenos Aires, an Argentinian domestic flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, and ground transportation for most local and regional trips as part of students’ research.