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  • Locations: Pago Pago, American Samoa
  • Program Terms: Summer A-Term
  • Budget Sheets: Summer A-Term
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Affiliated Department: Anthropology, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Foreign Language Required: None
Primary Language(s) of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Minimum Class Standing: 2. Sophomore
UW Credits: 6 UW Program Director: Holly Barker, Luke Tornabene
UW Study Abroad Program Manager: Katherine R Kroeger UW Program Staff Email:,
Program Information:

Location Pago, Pago, American Samoa
Academic Term Summer A-Term
June 17, 2019 - July 18, 2019
Estimated Program Fee $450
Credits 6
Prerequisites For the PAC-ISLEs study abroad program, four junior or sophomore undergraduate students and two graduate students will be recruited to participate in the program. These students are required to take the Independent Study course in Spring 2019 led by Tornabene and Barker(FISH/ANTH 499 for undergraduates, or FISH/ANTH 600 for graduates). There are no language requirements, although free weekly Samoan language classes at the Burke Museum are encouraged.
Program Directors Luke Tornabene |
Holly Barker |
Program Manager Katherine R Kroeger |
Priority Application Deadline January 31, 2019
Extended Deadline February 15, 2019
Information Sessions Tuesday, January 29, 5pm in FSH 102
Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Note that there are strict rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area that may impact a student's ability to travel within the region before or after their program, or to attend two subsequent programs in this area. It is critical that the student reviews the information and scenarios here to learn more about Schengen area visa requirements.

Program Description

This program explores the intersections between Indigenous and western science about fish and the reef in Samoa. Students will learn about coral reef fish ecology, and the connections between Pacific Islander Culture and the marine environment, from a variety of knowledge sources, including Samoan cultural forms, such as dance, song, and the language, that carry intergenerational science about the fish and reef, as well as from biological field studies on the reef itself. Ethics and building respectful partnerships is a central feature of this program. Kiana Fuega will coordinate the community engagement portions of our group learning with emphasis on protocols of respect, reciprocity, and relationship building. Marieke Sudek of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa will coordinate the reef-based learning and survey activities.




Pago, Pago, American Samoa


Student and faculty housing will be at a vacation rental in Pago Pago. This private residence sleeps up to 10 people, has two trucks which we will rent, running hot water, electricity, A/C, Wifi, and laundry facilities.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

Students are required to take the Independent Study course in Spring 2019 led by Tornabene and Barker(FISH/ANTH 499 for undergraduates, or FISH/ANTH 600 for graduates). There are no language requirements, although free weekly Samoan language classes at the Burke Museum are encouraged. While not required, all students selected for the program will be encouraged to have taken relevant courses in their respective departments (e.g. "Marine Biology" and or "Biology of Fishes" in SAFS, "Research Family" at the Burke Museum, "Oceanic Research Methods Culture of the Canoe" in Anthropology) or have equivalent, relevant experience gained through independent research, employment, volunteering, or other life experiences. We will specifically avoid using GPA and other standardized metrics as a the primary or limiting criterion for evaluating applications, as these metrics are imperfect indicators of true academic aptitude and potential, and may be highly correlated with the extent of family social support, financial resources, transfer status, and other factors that may present a bias against minority groups. Research projects, and the overseas experiences in general, are likely to include a fair amount of walking each day (e.g. traveling to and from stores around town, walking to field sites, visiting with collaborators around town). Students conducting marine research may also need to swim, wade in shallow water, walk along rocky intertidal areas, and in some cases SCUBA dive, depending on their individual projects. Students whose projects require diving will need to be certified with UW's dive program before departing.


6 UW Quarter Credits


FISH 496: Study Abroad: Present-day and Ancient Connections between Island Societies and Local Ecosystems (6 credits) I&S, NW

This study-abroad course is part of a 3-quarter series, collectively referred to as PAC-ISLES, Present-day and Ancient Connections between Island Societies and Local Ecosystems. The focus of this series is to immerse students in the study of ecology and anthropology of Pacific Islands. The first of the series (PAC-ISLEs part 1, taken on campus) which is taken as an independent study course in the spring preceding this one, is a prerequisite for this course, PAC-ISLEs part 2. During part 1, students will develop background knowledge of Pacific Island biology and culture, and develop independent research projects with their mentors and over-seas collaborators. During the present course (part 2, the Study Abroad) students will travel to American Samoa for 4.5 weeks to conduct their research projects. The key research themes we will focus on include the evolutionary origins of fish communities, aspects of change and adaptation in Pacific Island culture, and the connectivity between cultures and fish communities across islands at different spatial scales, as measured through similarities in cultural objects or traditional activities, and (for fishes) population genetics, taxonomic composition of select fish communities, and other metrics. The final component (part 3) will be an independent study elective taken the Autumn following the study abroad program, where students will analyze their data, synthesize their findings in a formal manuscript or report, and present their findings at a local or national conference or other appropriate venue.

Learning goals include:
Our goals are to substantially increase students' knowledge on the history of changes, connectivity, and interrelationships of Pacific Island fish communities and local cultures, while simultaneously developing a cohort of globally engaged undergraduate and graduate students equipped with the skills, tools, and life experiences enabling them to be key players in an enlightened national and global workforce. We aim to accomplish these goals while simultaneously advancing marine biological and anthropological knowledge of Oceania by including Pacific Islanders in every phase of the research. Information gathered from student-led projects will provide insight as to how culture and fish communities have changed over time, how and why species have arisen or gone extinct, and why specific components of Pacific Islander culture or fish communities may change in the face of future disturbances and or globalization. Ultimately, this study abroad program will: 1) Increase the competitiveness of UW undergraduate and graduate students for future international research programs by developing new professional skills and research networks. 2) Improve the cultural awareness of UW students, and their understanding of the connections between societies and the environment, increasing their capacity to work with international collaborators, or in international settings in the future. 3) Increase the interest in international research and cross-disciplinary biological/cultural experiences among UW and Seattle communities, with an emphasis on engaging members of underrepresented communities (e.g. Pacific Islanders).









Luke Tornabene
Assistant Professor, SAFS

Holly Barker
Lecturer, Anthropology

Research Coordinator - 
Research Coordinator




Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $450

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
  • Airfare
Not included in the program fee:
  • Food (about 5/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: July 12, 0219

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 Study Abroad 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.
  • To be considered for a UW Study Abroad Scholarship fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application.  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. Below 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 online orientation provided by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You will be able to access the online orientation through your study abroad application once you have been accepted to a program. 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 you have submitted a contract. 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 will be 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 application 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 withdrawal application to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.

Additional Info