** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Climate change is rapidly altering people’s access to water around the globe and impoverished populations are disproportionately impacted. In the island nations of Indonesia and East Timor, the combination of development and changing rainfall patterns challenge the cultural adaptations which have served these islands for millennia.
In the island nations of Indonesia (Bali) and East Timor, the combination of development and changing rainfall patterns challenge the water management strategies that have served these islands for millennia. In this course, we will immerse ourselves in the rich cultures of Bali and East Timor, applying anthropological methods of interview and participant observation to understand how communities and cultures are adapting to environmental changes.
Observe and participate in the rich aesthetic of art, dance and religious devotion that permeates nearly every aspect of Balinese culture.
Travel in one of the newest countries on earth where Timorese are building a nation that balances development for the future with conservation of the past.
Develop the skills necessary to conduct anthropological field work; interviews, field notes and ethnographic writing.
Explore the beautiful Balinese water temple system that supports subak rice agriculture.
Enjoy some of the best beaches on earth, swim among coral reefs, climb a volcano, visit ornate temples and meet some of the nicest people.
Paul James is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Anthropology at Western Washington University where he has taught cultural and biological anthropology for the past 12 years. By training he is an applied medical anthropologist specializing in evolutionary medicine and evaluation of community based health interventions. Since the 1990s Paul has worked on issues of culture and water ecology, disease ecology and environmental health. He worked with the Centers for Disease Control and USAID on household drinking water interventions into the cholera epidemic in lowland Bolivia as an undergraduate in Anthropology and Biology at WWU (BA 1998), and he looked at the sustainability of those interventions in his MA research (2000). Paul’s PhD dissertation applies evolutionary approaches to understanding the human immune system to explain patterns of childhood asthma experienced in by a transnational Mixteco population living in Mexico and the United States. Paul’s research and teaching focus on a broad array of directed cultural change in response to health, social and ecological problems, applying anthropological methods from everything from sustained dietary changes to electric vehicle design. Paul has a familial connection to Timor Leste and is excited to share the rich culture and ecology of Bali and Timor with undergraduates in this travel course.