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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, using 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.
The program, run in partnership with the Institute for Village Studies, is an intensive field course that encompasses academic studies in Himalayan culture, history, religion, sociology, and ecology, with service learning projects. A primary focus will be on how Himalaya communities respond to critical social and environmental challenges in ways that promote sustainability and wellbeing. The seven-week program includes six weeks in northern India, where we will work on our Artificial Glacier Project with Stongdey Village and assist the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust in their community-based conservation projects.
To learn more, check out our website, Himalaya Cultures & Ecology
- Spend 6 weeks in a remote region of the Western Himalayas
- Work with the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust on community-based conservation projects
- Support climate change adaptation through Artificial Glaciers
- Study Tibetan and Ladakhi culture, religion and history
- Learn about local issues of conservation, cultural survival and adaptation to a changing climate
- Trek in the dramatic western Tibetan Plateau
2016 Syllabus & Itinerary:
FAIR437b (12 credits) Syllabus Himalaya Cultures & Ecology Summer 2016.DOCX
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
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Please click the budget sheet for program cost and payment information.