For centuries, painters, poets, and explorers have documented the human connection
to mountains in work that provides a record of environmental change and humans’ shifting
relationship to these complex systems. Roughly one quarter of the earth’s land surface
is covered by mountains and today mountain landscapes are home to more than one billion
people, supporting various livelihoods, especially those related to recreation and
tourism. Compared to other terrestrial ecosystems, mountain ecosystems are particularly
sensitive to the effects of anthropogenic climate change. Yet not all mountains are
equal and emerging research demonstrates that these systems respond variably to climate
change, impacting landforms, ecosystems, and cultures in sometimes surprisingly different
During spring semester, online learners will utilize an interdisciplinary approach
to consider how we are adapting our relationship to mountains as pressures from climate
change–such as glacial retreat, permafrost warning, increased hazards, and shifts
in agriculture, forestry, and tourism–are mounting.
Students who choose to participate in the optional field course during summer will
explore on foot the contemporary landscapes and cultures of Europe’s high alpine and
surrounding communities with an eye to human history and futures in the region.
Instructors: Courtney Carlson | Curt Davidson
DATES & CREDITS
Offered every other year. The program includes the following components:
Spring semester: ENR 4965 / 5965 Alpine Climate & Culture (3 credits, Online Asynchronous)
August: travel to Austrian and Italian Alps
Upcoming programs: August, 2024 (final dates TBD: August 1-19)
REQUIREMENTS & ADMISSION
Open to all UW students. Preference given to applicants enrolled in Haub School programs.
Admission: program admission is dependent upon application and possible interview. Apply here.
Travel requirements: passport valid for travel to the European Union and ETIAS travel authorization. Additional requirements may apply.
Includes: lodging, in-country transportation, entrance fees, instruction, excursions, and
Does not include: roundtrip airfare, most meals, UW Education Abroad fee (includes travel insurance),
ETIAS visa fee, or UW tuition and fees for spring semester credits.
Program Fee 2024: coming soon (est. $4500/student; depends on number of participants)
SCHOLARSHIPS & FUNDING
Haub School Field & Global Scholarship ($500-$1000)
Cheney Study-Abroad Faculty-Directed Program Grants ($500-$800, 3.0 GPA needed) students participating in faculty-directed programs are only eligible for this Cheney
Other funding resources
stay in traditional alpine huts (rifugi) in the Italian Alps, experiencing local hospitality
and learning about the role of these huts in mountaineering culture
visit Messner Mountain Museums to delve deeply into the cultural, historical, and
emotional bonds between humans and the mountains
experience the culinary traditions of the regions with visits to mountain restaurants
and local trattorias
sample dishes like polenta, canederli (dumplings), and speck (smoked ham), and learn
about the historical influences on Alpine cuisine
join us for an info session to learn more >>>>>>>>
Participants should be prepared for long periods of sitting, extensive walking, strenuous
hiking, and rustic accommodations. Participants should be prepared to carry a pack (20lbs+) and spend full days outdoors
in changing weather conditions.
Join us for an info session:
We are currently accepting applications for Summer 2024 travel.
Application Deadline: November 15, 2023.
Please contact Field & International Program Coordinator
Melanie Matthews - firstname.lastname@example.org.