Photo by Tristan

Led by Drs. Javiera Barandiaran (Global Studies), Tristan Partridge (UCSB) and Maite Salazar (iBio-Chile), this project asks how a new constitution in Chile proposed to confront climate change-related challenges. This Burdick cohort will visit several rural communities around the capital city to examine how they are being impacted by water scarcity and melting glaciers, and what constitutional change could mean for them.

Image: coal plants in Chile, photo credit Tristan Partridge


Elisa Loncon Photo

To care for each other and for the Earth: An interview with Elisa Loncón

Burdick fellows working on Climate Change and Constitutionalism in Chile joined members of the Center for Restorative Environmental Work (Crew) to interview Elisa Loncón during her visit to UCSB in April 2023. Click the link above to read our edited transcript.

Tristan for BGSP

"Can I drink lithium? Can I eat copper? Protect the land!" / modified sign outside San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. Photo by Tristan Partridge.

In July 2023, Professors Javiera Barandiaran (Global Studies, UCSB), Tristan Partridge (Global Studies, UCSB) and Maite Salazar (Environmental Studies, Universidad Católica de Chile) took a group of UCSB undergraduate students on a three week trip to Chile to conduct research in rural communities grappling with the impacts of climate change near the capital, Santiago. These impacts include prolonged drought, glacier loss, and rising temperatures. In 2022, Chilean voters rejected a new constitution that would have introduced substantial changes to environmental law and policy. This project asks, what if anything remains of the forward-thinking spirit of the new constitution in these rural communities? How are residents confronting industrial projects and changing economic opportunities in light of climate change and failed constitutional reform? What alliances exist between these rural communities and outsiders, including environmental scientists, activists, and government officials, and how do these shape responses to climate change-induced challenges?

UDD Group Photo

Group photo: "El encuentro internacional estudiantil: Desafíos Medioambientales en Chile" organizado por el Centro de Investigación en Tecnologías para la Sociedad (C+) de la Facultad de Ingeniería. Source: UDD.

Encuentro internacional estudiantil reúne a estudiantes en torno a los desafíos socio-ambientales de Chile

Click the link above to read a report (in Spanish) on our Burdick students' presentations at this event in Santiago on 12 July 2023 -- "An international student conference: Environmental challenges in Chile" -- organized by the Centro de Investigación en Tecnologías para la Sociedad (C+) in the Engineering Department at the Universidad de Desarrollo.

Burdick scholars monitoring water along the Maipo river in Central Chile

Burdick scholars monitoring water along the Maipo river in Chile

"Voluntarios por el Agua" organizes monthly water monitoring along the Maipo river, in central Chile. This citizen-science initiative is building community and commitment to protecting rivers, from the mountains, through the city and to the sea. In July 2023, as part of their research trip to Chile, Burdick Global Scholars participated in two monitoring sessions to learn about the opportunities and challenges involved in citizen-science. See a video of their work here


During their research trip to Chile, the Burdick fellows collaborated with faculty and students at the Universidad de Desarrollo on issues of water monitoring and management and citizen science. They participated in a training session led by Chilean colleagues ahead of a visit to the coast to spend a day taking river samples with members of the group Ojos de Mar. Their work addresses coastal wetland conservation, pollution monitoring, and participatory methods. They documented part of the UCSB Burdick Fellows' visit on social media here. Later that week, the UCSB students had a guided tour and hike across the dry lake bed of Laguna de Aculeo – a lake near the city of Paine that dried out 2018, due to a combination of private, unregulated overuse and extraction of water amid ongoing drought conditions.

Tristan Photo

Burdick fellows working with community farmers during their research trip in Chile.

Related Videos

This video presents a community based research project on water scarcity in the municipality of Calle Larga, produced as a collaboration between the Burdick Global Scholars program and local partners in Chile.