Patagonia Wilderness and Conservation


TBD 2025


Aysen, Chile


Wilderness and Conservation



Sea State  x  Chulengo

During this wilderness expedition-based course, students will delve into the natural and human history of Aysén, Patagonia, with a focus on land conservation and sustainable development. In the past three years, Chile’s remote Aysén Region has become a hotspot for protected areas. In 2018, in partnership with Tompkins Conservation, the Chilean government expanded the national park system by 10 million acres, creating a Route of Parks that connects 17 national parks throughout the southernmost third of the nation.  As tourism grows in the region, questions around land management, access, and sustainable development become more critical. Students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in these questions, through building foundational principles and perspectives around conservation, environmental ethics, and development.


Students will gain a rich appreciation for Patagonia’s nature and culture through a backcountry expedition paired with conversations with local stakeholders. Readings and group discussions will work to connect themes in Patagonian land conservation to larger global trends. The course’s assignments work to build deep local understanding paired with a broader awareness around the urgency and complexity of conservation in the 21st century.



  • In Country Transportation
  • Most meals
  • All accommodations

Not Included

  • Unit Registration
  • Flight to/from Chile
  • Domestic Flight from Santiago to Coyhique
  • Some snacks and meals in town
  • Personal backpacking gear (comprehensive list provided)
  • Travel Insurance

Nadine Lehner


After years working in conservation while exploring wild places, Nadine dove into Chulengo to build connections between people and place that inspire lasting change. After graduating from Harvard College, where she studied History & Literature with an environmental focus, she headed south to work with Doug and Kris Tompkins (founders of The North Face, Esprit and Patagonia, Inc).  As Executive Director of Conservacion Patagonica, she focused on the establishment of the new Patagonia National Park, the 700,000-acre flagship national park that is home to most of Chulengo’s expeditions. After five years with Conservacion Patagonica, she pursued a joint MBA – MS in Environment and Resources at Stanford University.  She’s a NOLS instructor and has led wilderness backpacking and river expeditions for over a decade. She now spends most of her time in one of her favorite places on earth, Patagonia National Park, leading expeditions with Chulengo.