Rome (Autumn) 2013

Rome and the Sea: Exploring Environmental Management through Science and Culture

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Autumn Quarter, Honors Study Abroad, Rome, Italy

Rome and the Sea: Exploring environmental management through science and culture

September 23 – December 6, 2013

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15-17 credits: Honors Science, Interdisciplinary, Social Science Special Topics  or Environmental Studies, SMEA (School of Marine and Environmental Affairs), and/or Comparative Literature

(Variation of credits may be available per preapproval with your department)

All UW students are welcome to apply, priority given to College/Interdisciplinary and Departmental Honors students, Program on the Environment, SMEA, and Comparative Literature students.

This program will satisfy the following 15-17 credits of Honors core requirements or requirements in the departments listed below:

CourseCreditsCredit Type
Honors 220 or Enviro 496 5 Honors Natural World or Enviro 496
Honors 394 or Comp Lit 396 5 Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, VLPA/I&S or Comp Lit 396
Honors 397
Honors 499 or SMEA 499 (or 600)
*ENVIR 491
2-5 3 credits Honors Special Topics, Social Science, I&S

Honors Independent Research or SMEA Independent Research
2-5 credits for POE students

*Honors 397 and 499 will combine to count toward 5 credits of Honors I&S

Apply through IP&E »
Applications due: March 22, 2013

Information Sessions

  • January 24 from 3:30-5pm in Mary Gates Hall Room 241
  • February 5 from 3:30-4:30pm in Wallace Hall, Program on the Environment Commons
  • February 28 from 3:30-4:30 in Mary Gates Hall 211 E

About the Program

The Rome and the Sea program will immerse students in a interdisciplinary, hands-on learning environment at the intersection of human and environmental studies. One hundred meters from our classrooms at the Rome Center, on February 17, 1600 Giordano Bruno was burned alive because his scientific views were deemed dangerous. Four hundred years later, climate scientists defend themselves from personal, political and legal threats that aim to assassinate their character if not their being. Scientific, literary, visual, and cultural traditions have a great deal to teach us about managing the future of our planet’s ocean resources. Rome and the Sea: Exploring Environmental Management Through Science And Culture will give students the opportunity to investigate and learn about the relationship between science and culture through an immersion in both at the foundation of western culture in the Mediterranean. The Rome and the Sea Program is an interdisciplinary approach to marine environmental management that will both humanize environmental problems and explore technical solutions that can find strength in the social values and attitudes that are expressed in literary, visual, and cultural values from the past and the present.

The Rome and the Sea program draws energy and inspiration from its locale, in Italy, the European Union, and the Mediterranean. It will allow students, whether their background is humanities or science, to understand questions of global significance affecting the use and governance of the essential natural resources of the sea.

Selected Provisional Field Excursions

  • Piazza Navona - Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or "Fountain of the Four Rivers" by Bernini – historic view of ecosystems and their human connection.
  • Campo di Fiori - Giordano Bruno statue – how new scientific viewpoints disrupt established politics, comparison of Bruno to current scientific debates.
  • Piazza Vittorio Emanuele Market – how demand affects fishing, sustainable fisheries.
  • Esposizione Universale di Roma – relationship between Rome and the Sea under Fascist utopian vision
  • Museum of the Roman Ships – trade and environmental impacts
  • Archaeological Museum of Ostia/ Via Ostiense Museum – geography and trade
  • Rome fish markets and cooking class – sustainable seafood, geography of seafood (Through Rome Center)
  • Ostia, the Portus, and Area Marina Protetta delle Secche di Tor Paterno  – geography, trade, environment.
  • Palestrina - The Nile and Fish Mosaics of Palestrina – ancient views of marine systems
  • Laboratory of Conservation and Management of Marine and Coastal Resources University of Salento in Lecce – fisheries management and art history - Professor Paolo Guidetti

The program is conducted at the Palazzo Pio, the University of Washington's Rome Center, located in the historic center of the city. The palazzo, a fully remodeled seventeenth-century structure that sits on the foundations of the ancient theater of Pompey (55 B.C.), rises next to the Campo de' Fiori, one of Rome's favorite locales, a bustling open market during the day and lively social venue at night.

For more information about the UW Rome Center, visit: http://depts.washington.edu/roma/

Academic Credit / Program Components

Students will receive 15-17 credits total. Credits will fulfill Honors Core requirements (Honors Science, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Honors Social Science) or College of the Environment Credits and/or Comparative Literature Credits.  Other credits may be applicable depending on individual research projects. 

Managing the Sea: Conserving Coasts and Oceans in Peril (5 credits), Honors 220 or Envir 496

Professors Bob Pavia and Tom Leschine

This course will immerse students in a hands-on learning environment at the intersection of human and environmental studies. Student will explore an interdisciplinary approach to marine environmental management that will both humanize environmental problems and explore technical solutions that draw strength from social values and attitudes. While the subject matter will be global in application, it will focus on examples from Italy, the Mediterranean, and Europe. The course begins by building a foundation in the physical and biological properties of the marine environment. It continues with the disciplinary foundations of marine conservation and management. With this core of knowledge students will explore themes of marine environmental management including threats to ocean resources, conservation of fisheries resources, marine protected area management, marine transportation and pollution, and emerging issues and concepts in environmental management. Each of these topics will be connected to the cultural and social values to be explored in C LIT 396 to fully understand the human dimensions of environmental management of ocean resources.

Imagining the Sea: Exploring Literature, Film, and the Environment (5 credits), Honors 394 or Comp Lit 396

Dr. Agostinelli

Cultural and literary works strongly influence the way in which society thinks about the environment. This course examines selected visual and literary sources that interrelate with environmental management issues. Italian writers, poets and filmmakers often conceived their works as a form of civil and ecological "resistance" against the destruction of the environment and of the national landscape. From Luchino Visconti’s film La Terra Trema about Sicilian fishing community, to Niccolò Ammaniti’s Branchie (the writer’s former dissertation in marine biology turned into a best selling novel), we will look at the relationship between humans and the environment; in particular, we will consider the way in which these works shape the social values, attitudes, and belief that direct modern environmental management of marine resources. Such an interdisciplinary ecocritical perspective will provide a broader understanding of topics not normally associated with literary and visual studies. This course will interweave selected literary and cultural sources with environmental management issues presented in ENVIR 496.

Introduction to Italian Language and Culture (3 credits), Honors 397

Dr. Agostinelli

The course will give students language and cultural skills useful for exploring studies in Rome. While the Rome and the Sea program will be conducted in English, students will be encouraged to use the Italian language while in Rome. The course will familiarize students with idiomatic expressions, the basic rules of grammar and proper pronunciation and enable them to navigate Rome and engage in the themes of the program with confidence.

Independent Study and Research (2-5 credits), Honors 499 or SMEA 499/600

Professors Pavia and Leschine

This course is a companion to the 10 credit core courses. Students, working in small research groups or individually, will select a research topic to examine for their independent study in consultation with Professors Pavia and Leschine. The first two weeks will be spent exploring research topics, methods, and feasibility. Students are encouraged to examine their topic from both scientific and cultural contexts, but can also choose a topic more closely tied to their disciplinary field. An option for any student will be to examine an emerging issue in environmental management chosen from the annual Horizon Scan Of Global Conservation Issues.  Note: Graduate students considering registering for SMEA 600 credits must develop a study plan approved by Professor Leschine prior to the end of Spring 2013.

*Capstone Experience (2-5 credits), ENVIR 491

Professors Pavia and Leschine

An alternative to SMEA 499/600 for Program on the Environment undergraduates. PoE undergraduate students can choose to complete their capstone experience requirements as an element of the Rome and the Sea study abroad program. Students wishing to consider this option should meet with Sean McDonald PoE Capstone Advisor and Professor Pavia prior to the close of the application period to discuss this option. Students accepted for this option will receive 5 credits of ENVIR 491 in lieu of Independent Study credit.

Housing in Rome

Students will be housed in apartments near the Rome Center.

Program Staffing

Directors

Dr. Pavia has conducted training in a broad range of international settings including China, Fiji, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain through programs sponsored by the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Program. He also has extensive experience working with scientists in international settings including England, France, and Japan that will facilitate collaboration with scientists in the Rome and the Sea Program.

Dr. Agostinelli conducts professional tours of Rome and other areas of Italy through Rick Steve’ tours that have an adult educational component. Dr. Agostinelli also has experience teaching Italian to students with a range of language backgounds.

Dr. Leschine is a member of the International Committee of the Coastal and Ocean Management Institute in Xiamen, China where he works with graduate students. Dr. Leschine served as the instructor for a policy analysis course where he taught students at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa.

Program Expenses

This program will cost approximately $8,000 per student. Course costs include UWRC student fees, accommodations, classroom and library use, field trips and excursions, admission fees to all museums and exhibits, and some group meals. Students do not pay additional for tuition, equivalent tuition costs are included in the $8,000. Course fee does not include an IP&E concurrent enrollment fee ($300); airfare ($1,000-$1,500 roundtrip, depending on when and where you buy your ticket); food (about $20-40 per day), and personal spending money, such as travel after the class is over, provided you are a full-time student.

Non-matriculated students (applicants outside of UW) are welcome to apply. An additional fee of $200 is required of non-matriculated students. 

The Financial Aid office can provide student loans for not only the cost of the course, but also travel, food, and other related costs, such as travel after the class is over, provided you are a fulltime student. In addition, short-term loans are available to cover pre-travel expenses.

IP&E will automatically charge student accounts for all program payments and fees.

Financial Aid


Students may use their regular financial aid and scholarship funds for study abroad. The exception is any scholarship in the form of a tuition waiver. Tuition waivers cannot be used to pay study abroad program fees. You may want to check with the Office of Student Financial Aid in Schmitz Hall for more information.
There are funding opportunities through the Global Opportunities Program, and the Office of International Programs and Exchanges also maintains a funding opportunities list.

Refund Policy

A $350 deposit is required at the time of acceptance. This $350 deposit is non-refundable. Any student withdrawing from the program within 4 months of the program start date will be responsible for a minimum of 25% of the total program fee. In addition, there may be other unrecoverable fixed program costs. Any student withdrawing from the program within 2 months of the program start date will be responsible for 50% of the total program fee. Any student withdrawing from the program within 1 month of the program start date will be responsible for 75% of the total program fee. Withdrawal after a program begins involves the loss of the entire program fee.

Once accepted to the program in order to formally withdraw, you must do the following, in writing:

  1. Contact the program directors.
  2. Submit a signed IPE Withdrawal Form to the UW Office of International Programs and Exchanges.
  3. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.
  4. Your withdrawal date is considered the date (business day) your withdrawal paperwork is received by the UW Office of International Programs and Exchanges.

Getting There

To Rome

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Rome. Act quickly to reserve the lowest fares; you may wish to explore budget fares offered on websites such as Travelocity and Expedia, as well as Council Travel on the Ave.

Within Italy

Students and instructors will take several excursions outside of Rome.  Planned excursions include Ostia, Palestrina, and Lecce. The program fee covers these group travel expenses. Students will also have some opportunities to travel on their own for two or three day-jaunts.

All participants must have a passport that is valid for not only for the duration of the program, but for 6 months after the program ends. It may take as long as six weeks to obtain or renew a passport.

Application Instructions

The ideal Rome and the Sea student will have a keen interest in studying problems arising from the human use of natural resources along with a desire to investigate the social context of environmental problems.  We are seeking students who value and seek to better understand the human dimension of environmental challenges that the global society faces. Students from background in either the sciences or humanities can expect to be challenged and rewarded with the knowledge they will gain both inside and outside the classroom walls in Rome. Perspective students should have sophomore status or above, including graduate students.

*Program on the Environment undergraduate students can complete their capstone experience requirements as an element of the Rome and the Sea study abroad program. Students wishing to consider this option should meet with Sean McDonald PoE Capstone Advisor and the Program Director prior to the close of the application period to discuss this option. Students accepted for this option will receive 5 credits of ENVIR 491 in lieu of Independent Study credit.

*Graduate students wishing to register for SMEA 600 credits must discuss their plan prior to the close of the application period to discuss this option. University and Departmental Honors students may receive Honors core credit for work completed.

The Rome and the Sea directors and the Honors Program will determine final acceptance. Students applying after the deadline will be admitted on a space-available basis.

Apply through IP&E »
Applications due: March 22, 2013

For More Information

For more information about the program components, please contact:

  • Bob Pavia, bobpavia@uw.edu
  • Lauren Easterling, laurenee@uw.edu
  • For questions regarding credits, contact Julie Villegas, villegas@uw.edu
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