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* WWU Global Learning Program: Summer, India- Himalaya Cultures & Ecology: Field Program in Ladakh
Ladakh, India (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Global Learning Faculty-led
Language of Instruction:
Fields of Study:
Culture, Ecology, Service Learning Housing Options: Other
Program Description:
WWU Global Learning Programs Program Details Instructor Cost

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Global Learning

Himalayas, India

FAIR437b / INTL437b (12 credits)

Culture & Ecology: Field Program in Ladakh, India

Pre-departure dates: June 15-19, 2015
Travel dates: June 24-August 3, 2015

Join Western faculty and students on this remarkable journey to Himalayas. Western Washington University in association with the Institute for Village Studies offers students an in-depth, cross-cultural educational program in the Himalaya communities of Ladakh.

Learn more about this program:

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Program Details

Ladakh, in northern India, is one of highest and most remote human habitats on earth. Located between the Himalaya range to the south and the Karakoram range to the north, it is a region beset by water scarcity, fragile ecosystems and extreme climatic variation. Ladakhis have resourcefully dealt with these harsh conditions for over a thousand years, utilizing longstanding practices that integrate environmental knowledge with social and religious understandings. Now confronting  globalization and climate change, they are grappling with how to develop in a sustainable manner. These environmental challenges represent a unique natural setting for first-hand understanding of social adaptation and sustainability.

These environmental challenges represent a unique natural setting for first-hand understanding of cultural adaptation and sustainability.

As part of the program we help support local community projects and provide opportunities for students to learn about grassroots development. Our latest project is working with Stongdey village to build artificial glaciers in effort to adapt to a changing climate and provide a more reliable source of water.

This trip will be physically and emotionally demanding. It involves very basic living conditions, high altitudes, and strenuous physical activity. It will culminate with a 3-5 day trek to altitudes of up to 17,000 feet. But for those who are up to the challenge, the trip will be an immensely rewarding and transformative experience.

Program highlights:

  • Spend 6 weeks in a remote region of the Western Himalayas
  • Study Tibetan and Ladakhi culture, religion and history
  • Learn about local issues of water scarcity, cultural survival and adaptation to a changing climate
  • Work on our Artificial Glacier Project and community-based conservation project with the Snow Leopard Conversancy
  • Trek in the dramatic western Tibetan Plateau

Click here to download a detailed, printable itinerary.

FAIR437b (12 credits) Click to view Course Syllabus


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Charlie Ashbaugh is the Director of the Institute for Village Studies. He joined IVS from the field of international development and has worked on development projects in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Prior to taking over as Director, he worked with the International Center for Research on Women, where he conducted research on women’s economic empowerment.

He holds an M.A. in sustainable international development from Brandeis University and a B.A. in global studies form Western Washington University. He is also a nationally certified EMT.

Phone: (206) 300-7857

Liz Mogford is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. Professor Mogford’s teaching and research are interdisciplinary, combining sociology and public health. Her research interests include the social determinants of health, global health, global citizenship and social justice, and violence against women. In addition to teaching and research, Liz works on advocacy and outreach for advancing global health equity. Currently this includes being a board member of two non-profit organizations, Health Alliance International and Just Health Action. Just Health Action is a Seattle-based health advocacy organization that she co-founded in 2005.

Phone: (360) 650-3002
Office: Arntzen Hall 524


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Please click the budget sheet for program cost and payment information.


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This program is currently not accepting applications.