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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Cuzco, Peru; Puerto Maldonado, Peru
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Budget Sheets: Early Fall
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

Titlesociology italy
Location Cusco, Peru
Academic Term Early Fall 2018
August 26- September 20, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $4,400
Credits 5 UW credits
Prerequisites Academic seniority may be a factor in some selection decisions.
Students are expected to register the following fall quarter (when final assignment will be submitted and grades awarded).
Prior coursework in ecology, natural history and evolution is a helpful background, but not required.
Program Directors Ursula Valdez| 
Jennifer Atkinson|
Program Manager Katherine Kroeger|
Priority Application Deadline February 15, 2018
Information Sessions In Seattle campus:
F 9 Feb 12-1pm, Mary Gates Hall 211B

In Bothell campus:
TH 1 Feb 12-12:45pm, UW2-228)
W 7 Feb 1:30-2pm, UW2-307
Tu 13 Feb 12-12:45pm, UW2-228

Please contact program directors for more information or
General This program explores the relationship between humans and biodiversity in one of the most species rich areas of the world, the tropical Andes and Amazonian rainforest of southeastern Peru. This program has opportunities to gain knowledge and skills related to ecological research, conservation work, interactions with peers and local communities, creative writing, use of image and visual expression in combination with nature, and others.

Program Description

This program explores the relationship between humans and biodiversity in one of the most species rich areas of the world: southeastern Peru. Students will have hands-on opportunity to gain skills in ecological research in rainforest preserves of global importance, as well as explore and understand the current pressing conservation issue in the area, and learn about current and historical relationships of humans and the environment. In addition, students may have the opportunity to develop skills in science communication and visual communication that integrates science and conservation. Visits to local communities will be scheduled to allow students to see how natural resources are being used, and to understand the day-to-day challenges faced by local communities. Past and present agricultural systems and their impact on the environment are also studied. Finally, students will engage in reflective writing as a way to navigate the emotional challenges often inherent in learning about difficult environmental issues.

Learning Goals:
- Gain knowledge of basic tropical ecology and conservation and gain skills in introductory field research: students will be working in situ on this, and we will supervise and assess their learning directly.
- Gain skills on writing scientific reports; a research paper will be submitted with the results of their research.
- Gain skills in documenting natural history events and produce pieces of science/conservation communication: students will submit a natural history journal, a blog entry and visual material that documents their learning.
- Gain knowledge of the current conservation issues in the area of study, including an understanding of different cultural practices with respect to resource use, as well as drivers of resource exploitation: students are expected to participate in frequent discussions and do presentations on assigned issues, based on field observations, field lecture, and outside reading.
- Learn and apply basic principles and concepts in environmental ethics




Cusco, Peru


Cusco, Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu, Manu National Park (Andean cloud forest and Amazonian Rainforest)


Hostels and biological stations/camping (will need to bring a tent and sleeping gear).



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

Willingness to deal with harsh field conditions is highly recommended (very hot/cold days, very humid areas, mosquitoes, long days). While we don't do any serious trekking, we do spend long days in the field, with long walks in some cases along rustic terrain and with elevation gain. We expect that students are willing to do some basic outdoor walking training on their own during the summer prior to this trip. Arrival to meeting point, will involved high altitude adjustment (Cusco is at 3,300 masl + ~10,000 feet)


5 UW Credits


BIS 480 (jointly offered: ENVIR 496; HONORS 223): From Andes to Amazon: Biodiversity, Conservation and Sustainability in Peru (5 Credits)

NW, I&S, VLPA, QS/R, Diversity



Ursula Valdez, IAS UW-Bothell, Program Director

Born and raised in Peru, Ursula is a tropical avian ecologist who obtained a BS degree in Biology at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Lima, a MSc. in Zoology and Animal Behavior from NCSU, and a PhD in Biology from the University of Washington. She is a lecturer in IAS-Environmental Sciences Program at UW- Bothell, where she instructs in ecology, natural history, environmental issues, and field studies. Ursula has conducted ecological and ornithological research in Peru, Panama, the USA, Ecuador and Spain. She worked as field instructor in Costa Rica and she was the director of the Neotropical Environmental Conservation Program of The Peregrine Fund. Her main research interests are bird community ecology and conservation, birds of prey, natural history, and habitat use and human interactions.

Jennifer Atkinson, IAS UW- Bothell, Program Co-Director

Jennifer is a lecturer at the University of Washington Bothell, where she teaching courses in environmental humanities American literature & place eco-grief, environmental ethics, and more.
Much of her research focuses on environmental experience in everyday life. She has published work on the meaning and representation of American gardens, the use of immersive outdoor experience in environmental humanities education, and representations of nature in utopian literature.
Before joining the University of Washington faculty, Jennifer taught courses on environmental literature at the University of Chicago, where she received a PhD in English.



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $4,400

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,200-1500)
  • Food (about $5/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: October 13, 2018

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.